The wide range of benefits that urban parks and forests provide towards human health, environmental performance, ecology, social harmony, and economics is well acknowledged by scholars in the respective fields. However, the current park vitality discourse has been limited to interpreting vitality as a mere concentration of people within the park boundaries. In order to utilize these valuable urban green spaces for mitigating pressing issues like environmental gentrification, ecological degradation, and the threat of future pandemics, a more nuanced definition and understanding of park vitality is required. This thesis explores and defines the concept of park vitality and identifies the characteristics of parks with high vitality and low vitality. This research aims to understand the relationship between parks and their surrounding neighborhoods by using empirical data, and ultimately develop a framework to identify urban parks and forests with high and low vitality.
Asim Khanal (he/him/his) is a first year PhD student at Faculty of Forestry's Urban Forestry Hub. He holds a M.Sc. in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure, jointly issued by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi. He has worked both as a practitioner and a researcher in the field of urban planning and design. His current research interests are urban greenery, equity-based planning, and spatial analysis.