Green space coverage data for New Zealand Census Area Units

The percentage green space coverage data for New Zealand Census Area Units (CAUs, 2001, n = 1751) can be downloaded here.  Separate percentages are given for total green space and ‘usable’ green space.    Please cite the data as:

Richardson EA, Pearce J, Mitchell R, Day P, Kingham S. The association between green space and cause-specific mortality in urban New Zealand: an ecological analysis of green space utility. BMC Public Health 2010; 10(1):240.

This paper can be accessed here:

Get the data here


Our definition of green space included natural areas (e.g., parks, beaches, and fields) but excluded aquatic areas (e.g., lakes and the sea).  Private gardens were not included in our green space measures because none of the three land cover data sets we used had included them (with the exception of large gardens of at least 1 ha, which would have been identified by the LCDB2 data set).  Usable green space was defined as ‘urban parkland/open space’, ‘beaches’, and any non-commercial forestry (‘indigenous forest’, ‘deciduous hardwoods’, or ‘other exotic forest’) that was either adjacent to other usable green space or was within 10 m of a road (i.e., accessible). Non-usable green space was defined as all other natural areas, including agricultural land, salt marsh, and commercial forestry.


We thank the Department of Conservation, Land Information New Zealand, and the Ministry for the Environment for access to their land use datasets.

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