Sustainability of Forest Park as Space Break: A Case Study of Arroceros Forest Park in Congested City of Manila
20 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2016 Last revised: 5 Sep 2016
Date Written: May 30, 2016
The study illustrates how urban forest parks as scarce resources in congested Manila could be sustainable to enhance the social values of a stressful urban life. Urban forest is considered as woodland located in or near urban area that entails transformed forest vegetation and provides green spaces to the communities (Zhang et al., 2007). It is widely regarded as a chain of trees where services are considered non-consumptive use value that includes clean air, serene and calmness environment, as well as sports and recreational activities.
The Arroceros Forest Park (AFP) is one of the urban forests in congested Manila. It is a 2.2-hectare green space that contains different varieties of trees, plants and birds. Considered as the “last lung” of the city of Manila (Roces, 2015), it is located along the riverside of Pasig River, only few urbanites are aware of.
The objective of the study is to present the ecological values of AFP as space break to promote urban sustainability of Manila. This study is anchored on the concept of willingness to pay (WTP) that tries to determine its bequest value using total economic value as framework. According to literature, willingness to pay is being used to elicit the values put people on green spaces as Hadker et al. (1996) used a similar approach in the case of Borivli National Park in Bombay, which shares the same characteristics as that of AFP, in terms of location in an overly crowded metropolis, faced with the challenges of severe degradation and neglect.
The study used mixed methods combining key informant interviews and field observations as well as survey in gathering qualitative data and quantifiable values placed on the forest park.
Results show that the AFP is maintained by a non-government organization with limited funding and volunteers. Selected respondents are not fully aware on the role of the forest park. There is no city ordinance to protect the forest park, but there are environmentally aware institutions, student organizations, advocacy groups and civil societies that are willing to protect the forest park from deterioration. In conclusion, due to limited awareness on the ecological value of AFP, it became susceptible to vandalism, waste disposal and proliferation of informal settlers.
Keywords: Arroceros Forest Park, space breaks, total economic value, willingness to pay
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