Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

Benefits of Open Space: Managers and Local Residents’ Perspectives

Gyan P. Nyaupane

Abstract


This study examined perceptions of benefits of parks and open space between park professionals and local residents and analyzed factors that influence local residents’ perceived benefits. A Web-based survey collected data from 106 managers and a statewide telephone survey collected data from 1,238 randomly sampled households in Arizona. Results indicated that managers rated all benefit dimensions examined (personal, social, environmental, and economic) as more important than did local residents. Interest in outdoor recreation activities, importance of open space when buying a house, proximity to open space, maintenance and access to parks and open space, length of residence, gender, and income influenced perceived benefits of parks and open space. Among these variables, interest in outdoor recreation activities and importance of open space when buying a house positively influenced all four types of perceived benefits. Distance to parks and open space influenced only perceived personal and social benefits. However, environmental and economic benefits were perceived regardless of distance to parks and open space. Well-maintained parks and open space contributed to perceived personal, social, and economic benefits, but not environmental benefits. The access to parks and open space contributed to perceived social and environmental benefits. Length of residence in a community was positively related to perceived importance of personal, social, and economic benefits. Women perceived personal, environmental, and economic benefits as more important than did men. Resident income was positively related to perceived social and environmental benefits. These findings can be useful for parks and open space professionals to provide opportunities for local residents so that they can perceive maximum beneficial outcomes from parks and open space. This study recommended creating parks and space close to homes, maintaining parks and open space, and providing access to public lands. Parks and public land management agencies should also educate citizens about the amenities and opportunities available to increase the public interest in outdoor recreation.

Keywords


Open space; benefits; local residents; managers; parks; protected areas; proximity; Arizona

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2018 Sagamore Publishing LLC