The Relationship of Household Proximity to Park Use


  • Jamie Rae Walker
  • John L. Crompton


Park proximity, park use, Straight-line distance, Network distance, applied research


Using secondary data from a community Needs Assessment, objective and subjective measures were used to investigate the relationship between household proximity and park use. Data were collected from an effective sample of 458 city respondents in Texas. The objective measures used Straight-line and Network distances from a respondent’s home to the nearest park. Both measures confirmed that respondents living within .25, .5, and .75 miles of a park were significantly more likely to use parks than those residing beyond those points. Probability of use patterns indicated that differences between proximate and non-proximate households increase with distance. The subjective measure yielded the highest probability of use and showed that respondents who perceived they had the ability to access a park on foot or by bicycle were 9% more likely to use parks. The study also provides an example of how data collected in typical community needs assessment can be used for studying advanced topics that support research concepts as well as park positioning and policies.