1 Institute of Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Garden Art, Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, No.29-43 Villány út, Budapest 1118, Hungary
2 College of Landscape Architecture and Art, Henan Agricultural University, No.95 Wenhua Road, Zhengzhou 450002, China
As essential elements of green spaces and social spaces in cities, urban parks significantly improve the quality of life and promote urban sustainability. Research on the development process of urban parks can be meaningful for coping with the current issues and future opportunities facing cities. This study takes Zhengzhou as the case aiming to outline the development process and characteristics of urban parks within the city. We adopted the empirical analysis to review the evolution processes and trends of Zhengzhou’s urban parks from the perspective of implementation approaches, spatial layout, and functions and uses. Results reveal four subsequent phases: the emergence phase (1949-1977), the growth phase (1978-1996), the acceleration phase (1997-2012), and the promotion phase (after 2012), according to the periods of urban development and the opportunities for green space development. The discussion includes development issues and strategies regarding land use approaches, user group needs, and public participation. The findings may help formulate adaptive and effective policies and planning tools for urban parks and provide a basis for further research on urban parks and Zhengzhou’s road to the ideal “Park City”.