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Peer-Review Record

The Provision and Accessibility to Parks in Ho Chi Minh City: Disparities along the Urban Core—Periphery Axis

Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010037
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Lucia Nucci
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010037
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019

Round  1

Reviewer 1 Report

This article presents a relatively straightforward case study of park access in Vietnam. From a methods perspective, there is nothing novel about the analysis that would make this is a significant advancement for 'urban science' as an emerging discipline. But, as a simple case study on park access the article is suitable subject to some revision.

The authors should provide a bit more justification and synthesis of the selected accessibility measures for examining park access. Three very simple metrics are selected, but the pros and cons and justification for these approaches are not specified. For instance, in the conclusions, the authors state that parks in center city locations may be more susceptible to crowding and therefore deterioration, so why not use a method that captures crowding such as a 2-step floating catchment area method?

There is a fairly large literature that has examined access to parks with respect to equity in various cities, countries, and regions of the world. These are not mentioned but they would help situate this case study in the context of the broader state of knowledge. How does this city compare and why?

How were the number of clusters determined from the Hierarchical clustering approach? Some justification should be provided.

More details on the 28 input variables should be provided. How were they measured? 

Finally, the results are fairly intuitive -- that access to parks is lower in periphery areas. Given that walking distance is chosen as the mode of analysis, outlying areas are naturally less connected, but possibly have larger parks. The conclusions are also rather generic that more parks are needed where access is lower, but this is not really linked well with the typology exercise. A better connection between these two analyses would be nice.

Some additional literature includes (but is not limited to): Xing et al. 2018. Spatio-temporal disparity between demand and supply of park green space service in urban area of Wuhan 2000 to 2014. Habitat International; Wei, F. 2017. Greener urbanization? Changing accessibility to parks in China. Landscape and Urban Planning; Dony et al. 2015 Re-conceptualizing accessibility to parks in multi-modal cities: A variable-width FCA method. Landscape and Urban Planning 


Author Response

Journal: Urban Science

Manuscript number: urbansci-445426

Title: The provision and accessibility to parks in Ho Chi Minh City: disparities along the urban core - periphery axis

 

Dear Professor Smith,

We thank you for the second opportunity to revise our above-referenced paper. We also thank the reviewers for their valuable comments. We hope that you will consider that these edits and additions have created a revised paper relevant for publication in Urban Science. Our responses to the reviewers’ comments are found below. In the new version of the manuscript, all the changes are highlighted in yellow.


Reviewer #1

 This article presents a relatively straightforward case study of park access in Vietnam. From a methods perspective, there is nothing novel about the analysis that would make this is a significant advancement for 'urban science' as an emerging discipline. But, as a simple case study on park access the article is suitable subject to some revision.

 

1.    The authors should provide a bit more justification and synthesis of the selected accessibility measures for examining park access. Three very simple metrics are selected, but the pros and cons and justification for these approaches are not specified. For instance, in the conclusions, the authors state that parks in center city locations may be more susceptible to crowding and therefore deterioration, so why not use a method that captures crowding such as a 2-step floating catchment area method?

Response: We agree with this comment, we have changed the paragraph as follows:

“As mentioned in a recent literature review on the approaches to measuring the potential spatial access to urban services, it is then relevant to calculate several measures that enable potential geographic access to be described in all its complexity [59]. In this study, the three selected indicators refer to conceptualizations of potential geographic access: that are very different from one another: 1) the immediate proximity, 2) the availability of parks (number) provided by the immediate surroundings, 3) the availability of park area (ha) provided by the immediate surroundings [59].”

Concerning the 2SFCA, the author is right: it could be relevant to include it but we decided not to do it for two reasons. First, we prefer to present classical accessibility measures to parks because we took into account the types of parks (obtained by the AHC); it is not possible to integrate the types of parks in the calculation of the 2SFCA method. Second, in another submitted article, we explore specifically the offer of parks in HMC and the demand by using the enhanced two-step floating catchment area (E2SFCA) and regression analyses (without the typology). Therefore, the results of our two papers will be too similar.

 

2.    There is a fairly large literature that has examined access to parks with respect to equity in various cities, countries, and regions of the world. These are not mentioned but they would help situate this case study in the context of the broader state of knowledge. How does this city compare and why?

Response: We agree with the reviewer. We added one paragraph in 3.2. ‘Accessibility to parks’.

“Spatial accessibility has been extensively used to examine environmental equity in access to urban parks. More specifically, studies in various North American cities have been raising concerns of inadequate access to parks in disadvantaged or ethnic neighbourhoods [8, 48-53]. Recent studies in China and Korea also show diverse spatial and temporal variations of park accessibility in rapidly urbanizing Asian cities [47, 54, 55]. In sum, the previous studies point to the importance of examining and explaining spatial inequality of park access between the intra-urban center and the periphery. Drawing on this corpus of literature, we examine spatial accessibility using by a variety of measures such as minimal distance to parks and the number of parks or park hectares within a 500 to 1,000-metre radius using the street network. Our analysis also take into account demographic variables and urbanization periods”.

 

We also discuss our results in line with these previous studies (in Section 6).

“Spatial variations of park accessibility in HCMC corroborate what was documented in other cities. For example, in Hanoi, Pham et Labbé [16] have shown that newly established parks on the outskirts of the city are often far from residential areas. In Seoul, Oh and Jeong [47] highlighted that most of the parks are situated on the periphery, far from dense residential neighbourhoods, thus limiting their use. In Hangzhou, Wei [54] showed complex changes of park accessibility between 2000 and 2010, in 41 subdistricts. While half of the subdistricts benefited from an increase of park accessibility, the other half suffered from inaccessibility to parks (within the 400 metres radius) and they were mainly located in the outer city”.

 

3.    How were the number of clusters determined from the Hierarchical clustering approach? Some justification should be provided.

Response: We added this sentence:

“This optimal number of cluster was selected by using the Pseudo-F statistic [49] and the Cubic Clustering Criterion [50].”

 

4.    More details on the 28 input variables should be provided. How were they measured?

Response: The 28 input variables were explained clearly on the paragraphs from the line 196 to 209, and then we have adjusted also a sentence to explain more about the conversation from number of tree to canopy area:

“The 108 parks were visited between July and September 2016 by the first author and a group of ten research assistants (architects and students completing their 3rd and 4th year of study at HCMC’s University of Architecture). The assistants produced an inventory of the equipment in the parks and completed an evaluation grid that included the six previously outlined elements (Section 3.1.).

More specifically, regarding the nature, indicators of the number of trees (collected when we visited 108 parks in 2016) be multiplied by 5 m2 (using the government’s construction standards guide [22]) to calculate the sum of canopy surface area  and then reported as the percentage of total surface area covered for each park. We recoded these vegetation indicators into six binary variables that indicate both the percentage of surface area covered in trees, classified into one of three categories (less than 10%, between 10 and 50%, over 50%) and the percentage of surface area covered by grass, again classified into one of three categories (less than 50%, between 50 and 75%, over 75%). Regarding the level of maintenance (i.e. deterioration and cleanliness), a series of photos featuring examples of deteriorated parks (Figure 2) was presented to the assistants who took photos of the parks they visited. Finally, we analyzed the photos and decided to re-visit parks when needed.”

 

5.    Finally, the results are fairly intuitive -- that access to parks is lower in periphery areas. Given that walking distance is chosen as the mode of analysis, outlying areas are naturally less connected, but possibly have larger parks. The conclusions are also rather generic that more parks are needed where access is lower, but this is not really linked well with the typology exercise. A better connection between these two analyses would be nice.

Response: In the ‘Conclusion’ section, we have confirmed the demonstration of considerable variations in the accessibility to different types of parks along the urban-peripheral axis and the periods of urbanization as an inequity in accessibility to parks in this city. Our empirical findings confirm tendencies that park access is lower in the periphery as shown in the literature, and also allow us to suggest more informed and locally suited solutions in park planning and creation for HCMC (from line 421 to 433).

“As is the case in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital [16], there is a desperate need for parks in HCMC. However, given the city’s high population density and compact built form, the strategies used for creating new parks in the City, especially in central areas must remain flexible. For example, any vacant lot, yard or playground in public buildings could be re-designed by the government and managed by the local community. According to TTH Pham and D Labbé [16], such an approach would require consideration of the property’s status and the management of park facilities to ensure that these are in keeping with local regulatory frameworks. In new districts located in peripheral areas, where spatial accessibility to parks is poor, parks should be quickly added, before built-up density becomes too high. In addition, the quality of existing parks should also be improved, as the latter are generally deteriorated or poorly equipped. In new planned urban areas, we can imagine new ways of creating open and green spaces, for example land reserved for parks can be designed into vegetables gardens and managed by local residents, as urban food growing is increasing popular in Vietnamese cities because of food safety concerns [70]”

 

6.    Some additional literature includes (but is not limited to):

·         Xing et al. 2018. Spatio-temporal disparity between demand and supply of park green space service in urban area of Wuhan 2000 to 2014. Habitat International;

·         Wei, F. 2017. Greener urbanization? Changing accessibility to parks in China. Landscape and Urban Planning;

·         Dony et al. 2015 Re-conceptualizing accessibility to parks in multi-modal cities: A variable-width FCA method. Landscape and Urban Planning.

Response: Thank you for your suggestion, we have added these references in this version (No 53-54 in the reference list).


Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper focused on the assessment and the accessibility to Parks in Ho Chi Minh.

The topic is significant and relevant due to:

-           the development pressure on Public Open Spaces in metropolitan area;

-          the combination of quantitative and qualitative evaluation.

The paper could be published after minor revision.

 

Main comments

methodology

The authors have to explain some definitions in the paper, related to the vietnamese context:

– the differences between Public, semi private, private space;

– the variety of OS typologies and the reason of the selection (table 1 and 2)

-   In urbanisme the Quantitative POS standard is calculated using only “Public” and not “semiprivate and private space” and “open space” considering only Green space and not hard surface, green wall...

 

The paper could be more precise in the use of the words parks (2.1, table 1, "... we use the term park to designate these two categories...lines 96-97).


- 5.1 the paper find six type of parks not five ( 239)

in Table 2, 3, 4,  5, 7 seems better to have the definition at the top and not A, B,...

if you use dimension, level of equipment and quality, you have to add in C the dimension


table 2 could be better organized for the reader


- 5.2 please clarify the sentences from 323 to 326 lines


6 where we could understand the location of urban peripheral axis (345).

It is very important to clarify the text from 368 to 375.

In the paper better use always the same measure metres or kilometre


Author Response

Journal: Urban Science

Manuscript number: urbansci-445426

Title: The provision and accessibility to parks in Ho Chi Minh City: disparities along the urban core - periphery axis

 

Dear Professor Smith,

We thank you for the second opportunity to revise our above-referenced paper. We also thank the reviewers for their valuable comments. We hope that you will consider that these edits and additions have created a revised paper relevant for publication in Urban Science. Our responses to the reviewers’ comments are found below. In the new version of the manuscript, all the changes are highlighted in yellow.


Reviewer #2

 The paper focused on the assessment and the accessibility to Parks in Ho Chi Minh. The topic is significant and relevant due to:

-          the development pressure on Public Open Spaces in metropolitan area;

-          the combination of quantitative and qualitative evaluation.

The paper could be published after minor revision.

 

Main comments

 

1.      Methodology

The authors have to explain some definitions in the paper, related to the Vietnamese context:

- the differences between Public, semi private, private space;

- the variety of OS typologies and the reason of the selection (table 1 and 2)

- In urbanisme the Quantitative POS standard is calculated using only “Public” and not “semiprivate and private space” and “open space” considering only Green space and not hard surface, green wall...

Response: in this paper we address only urban parks, one of the formally planned public spaces that exist in Vietnam, because this type of public spaces is particularly important for HCMC residents for a number of reasons. We clarify this point in the new version (lines 45-53). We are aware that the notions of ‘public’ and ‘private’ are context-specific but since they are not in the goals of the paper, we do not discuss them. We provided official definitions of formally planned open and green spaces in the legislation (Table 1 and Section 2.1).

 

2.      The paper could be more precise in the use of the words parks (2.1, table 1, "... we use the term park to designate these two categories...lines 96-97).

Response: We changed this paragraph as follows: "Our research focuses only on the first two types—“parks and public gardens” (with the exception of the Botanical and Zoological Garden) and “public squares” (Table 1, I and II). “Theme parks” and the Botanical and Zoological Garden are not considered since entrance is fee-based and not financially accessible to disadvantaged populations. In the remainder of the text, we use the term “park” to designate these two categories (Table 1 and 2)”.

 

3.      the paper find six type of parks not five (239)

Response: Our statistical model results in five types of parks (types A to E in Table 2). The 6th column entitled TOTAL reports the mean values of all parks (n=108).

 

4.      in Table 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 seems better to have the definition at the top and not A, B, ...

Response: In all these tables, the lack of space does not allow us to write the description of each park type. This is why we report the description below the table. For Tables 3, 4, 5 and 7, we added a note: “a See name and description of each park type in Table 2”.

 

5.      if you use dimension, level of equipment and quality, you have to add in C the dimension

Response: We do not fully understand this comment and we wonder if the reviewer referred to the size of parks. If it is the case in the description of Type C we mentioned the sizes.

“Type C parks (14) are characterized by a weak presence of equipment and services and, most importantly, a high level of deterioration (100%). They are quite variable in size: 78.6% are smaller than one hectare and 21.4% are larger than five hectares.”

 

6.      table 2 could be better organized for the reader

Response: We reformatted the Table and we hope it is easier to understand in this version.

 

7.      please clarify the sentences from 323 to 326 lines

Response: We revised the sentences (lines 343-346 in this new version) and we also changed the wording in Table 6 to make it clearer.

 

8.      where we could understand the location of urban peripheral axis (345).

Response: The urban peripheral axis does not refer to a specific road or street section. It means the urban-rural gradient (as we move away from the downtown core) and it is a common term in urban studies.

 

9.      It is very important to clarify the text from 368 to 375.

Response: In the last version, lines 368 and 375 were separated into two paragraphs. We improved both of them in the new version, as follows.

 

“The creation of such larges parks in the center accentuated the big difference between the center and the periphery.

After 1997, and notably since 2003, urban planning and the creation of parks, has been influenced by two main factors, explaining the disparities between the center and the periphery of HCMC. The firs factor is the recognition of the importance of parks in planning documents. Park as an open and green public spaces have become a mandatory element in certain urban planning principles in Vietnam [62, 63]—for example, as part of the obligation to create services (parks, schools, cultural centres) for everyday use located within a reasonable walking distance. Although the recognition is supposed to improve the provision of parks, it has been undermined by other broader socio-political processes which constitutes the second factor. The most important processes in the second factors is privatization and the growing involvement of the private sector and foreign companies in the construction of new urban areas [64] which have been causing negative impacts on the provision and the quality of parks in the periphery. More specifically, the private sector’s role in urban production is fostered by the socialization policy (xã hội hóa, in Vietnamese) that aims at increasing private investments in the construction of urban projects, including new urban areas (Ibid.). Numerous new urban areas on the outskirts of HCMC were developed by private or semi-public companies during this period, which is also common in other Vietnamese larges cities, such as Hanoi [65, 66]. The major problem with privatization, as also documented in other Southeastern Asian cities, is that the profit objectives of private investors, are, for the most part, at odds with benefits for the public [65]. Services in new neighbourhoods are created with the objective of making as much profit as possible. It is also common that investors are not able to carry out the projects [13]. These result in the fact that neighbourhood parks are often small, poorly equipped, of moderate quality, and sometimes poorly maintained. This explains the important presence of Type B and C parks in peripheral areas and their overall poor accessibility”.

 

10.  In the paper better use always the same measure metres or kilometre.

Response: We thank you for raising this point. Units have been revised and changed through out the paper.

 


Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round  2

Reviewer 1 Report

I have no further comments - my previous comments have been adequately addressed.

Author Response

Thanks. The manuscript has been revised (spelling and grammar).

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