Cummings, Aaron

A measure of urban green space: accessibility and design






School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering
Queen's University Belfast
Level 2
David Keir Building
Stranmillis Road
Belfast BT9 5AG
Northern Ireland



+44 (0)2890 974254


Current Research:

The availability of accessible and attractive green spaces is an integral part of urban life. International studies have underlined the importance of urban green space for our well-being and their contribution to healthy liveable cities. By 2010, 3.5 billion people dwelled in urbanised areas, and in Europe, 70% of people currently live in an urban environment. This is expected to increase to 82% by 2050. Our urban environment therefore faces a number of design and planning challenges, propelled and exacerbated by an ever increasing urban population and demand for increased land to be released for development.

Despite a broad body of literature emphasising the value of urban green spaces and green place-making, green place-making practices are often neglected as other land uses are prioritised. In the UK for example, planning policy may not always give enough priority to our parks and green spaces as a result of growing urban populations, pressures to increase housing supply, combined with a restricted supply of urban land due to green belt policy and a reduced public sector spending (CLGC. 2017. Seventh Report. Public Parks).  
To that extent, the future attractiveness and liveability of our cities, is dependent upon policy makers finding new ways to protect and improve urban green spaces, ensuring that they thrive and harness the appetite of civil society. Urban redevelopment can earmark adequate new green areas with appropriate location and design, ensuring the provision for more accessible and attractive urban green spaces within our rapidly growing cities.

The research aims to understand the use of urban green spaces and the relationship they have with the city from a street level perspective. By assessing existing provision (and potential for future provision) and evaluating existing design, it is hoped that the research can provide a better understanding on how location and design influences user perceptions and their behaviour; providing an indication of how and where to site urban green spaces.

Supervisors: Dr Urmi Sengupta & Dr Gehan Selim


BSc Hons Construction Engineering and Management, University of Ulster, 2012
LLM Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, 2013


Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) Postgraduate Research Studentship