An exploration of the relationship between use of parks and access, park appeal, and communication effectiveness
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Understanding what variables influence park use would assist park providers and policy makers in acquiring, designing, managing, and funding initiatives which encourage or support park use. Previous studies indicate that access to parks (measured by both objective and perceived distances), park appeal in terms of being well-maintained, and effective communication between constituents and park suppliers, relate positively to park use. This study explores the relationships between access, appeal, and communication and park use. Access is operationalized as four objective distances from household to nearest park using both Euclidian and Network measures, and by subjective self-reported measures of ability to access parks on foot or by bicycle. Appeal is concerned with the influence of parks’ perceived level of maintenance and availability of amenities on the probability of park use. Effective communication is operationalized by three variables: perceptions of being well-informed, being included in the planning process, and being able to give feedback to park leaders. These variables and selected demographic data were extracted from an existing data set: the City of College Station Needs Assessment. Findings indicated that a) respondents with access to parks are more likely to use parks, b) level of maintenance and available amenities influenced use, and c) respondents who are well-informed are more likely to use parks.
Walker, Jamie Rae (2008). An exploration of the relationship between use of parks and access, park appeal, and communication effectiveness. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from