Streaming Media

Start Date

3-7-2022 12:00 AM

End Date

3-8-2022 12:00 AM

Abstract

Urban parks can provide many physical and mental health benefits, but these may not be shared equitably among visitors. The purpose of this study was to explore park visitor demographics and activities, as well as in-depth narratives regarding experiences, perceptions of accessibility, and desired improvements in a range of urban park types of Portland, Oregon. We used a mixed-methods approach to interview and observe visitors in urban parks. The most common activities were physical recreation, adult interactions, and adult-child interactions, which all support well-being. Ninety-four percent of observed children were engaged in physical recreation and three-fourths were interacting with children. Our non-metric multidimensional scaling ordinations with joint plots indicated some trends in visitor demographics and activities across park types, but we found no significant differences in total number of observed visitors, females and males, racial-ethnic groups, or adults and children across park types. Our complementary in-depth, semi-structured interviews revealed motivations for visitation, access concerns, and desired improvements. Visitation was primarily motivated by physical recreation opportunities, accessibility, and children, whereas the main access concerns were park proximity, trails/paths, and maintenance. Feelings of safety were particularly important for female visitors, while a sense of community helped to create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors with underrepresented racial-ethnic backgrounds. Participants across demographics groups discussed desired improvements, which focused on enhancing amenities and social atmosphere. Only 19% indicated that no changes were necessary. We provide strategies for planners, governmental agencies, and community groups to continue enhancing urban park experiences and accessibility for diverse visitors.

Subjects

Environmental social sciences, Land use planning, Land/watershed management

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/38011

Rights

© Copyright the author(s)

IN COPYRIGHT:
http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

DISCLAIMER:
The purpose of this statement is to help the public understand how this Item may be used. When there is a (non-standard) License or contract that governs re-use of the associated Item, this statement only summarizes the effects of some of its terms. It is not a License, and should not be used to license your Work. To license your own Work, use a License offered at https://creativecommons.org/

Share

COinS
 
Mar 7th, 12:00 AM Mar 8th, 12:00 AM

Visitor access, use, and desired improvements in urban parks

Urban parks can provide many physical and mental health benefits, but these may not be shared equitably among visitors. The purpose of this study was to explore park visitor demographics and activities, as well as in-depth narratives regarding experiences, perceptions of accessibility, and desired improvements in a range of urban park types of Portland, Oregon. We used a mixed-methods approach to interview and observe visitors in urban parks. The most common activities were physical recreation, adult interactions, and adult-child interactions, which all support well-being. Ninety-four percent of observed children were engaged in physical recreation and three-fourths were interacting with children. Our non-metric multidimensional scaling ordinations with joint plots indicated some trends in visitor demographics and activities across park types, but we found no significant differences in total number of observed visitors, females and males, racial-ethnic groups, or adults and children across park types. Our complementary in-depth, semi-structured interviews revealed motivations for visitation, access concerns, and desired improvements. Visitation was primarily motivated by physical recreation opportunities, accessibility, and children, whereas the main access concerns were park proximity, trails/paths, and maintenance. Feelings of safety were particularly important for female visitors, while a sense of community helped to create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors with underrepresented racial-ethnic backgrounds. Participants across demographics groups discussed desired improvements, which focused on enhancing amenities and social atmosphere. Only 19% indicated that no changes were necessary. We provide strategies for planners, governmental agencies, and community groups to continue enhancing urban park experiences and accessibility for diverse visitors.