Zhe Chang Successfully Defends her MSc Thesis

The HEAL would like to congratulate Zhe Chang who successfully defended her MSc thesis under the supervision of Dr. Jason Gilliland and Dr. Lee Jinhyung in August 2023.


Zhe Chang successfully defended her thesis titled Developing Youth-informed and Quality-aware Spatial Accessibility Measures to Urban Parks Using a Survey-based 2SFCA Method in London, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Zhe completed her Master of Science in Geography and Environment under the supervision of Dr. Jason Gilliland and Dr. Lee Jinhyung. During her studies, Zhe developed youth-informed and quality-aware measures to consider the influence on park attraction by its quality and size rather than size only.

Zhe consulted a youth advisory council to determine the relative importance of park features and the travel threshold used in the analysis to better understand park attractiveness for youth. Then, an accessibility score for each population unit was computed to represent the level of park accessibility, using the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method. The proposed method can better differentiate higher accessibility from lower accessibility, providing more detailed accessibility results.

The social equity analysis results indicated that median household income was not strongly correlated with the level of park accessibility. The research outcomes bring critical insights for park planners to improve park and recreational facilities in the city and promote healthy living among youth.

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