Baran, P. K., Smith, W. R., Moore, R. C., Floyd, M. F., Bocarro, J. N., Cosco, N. G., & Danninger, T. M.
Baran, P. K., Smith, W. R., Moore, R. C., Floyd, M. F., Bocarro, J. N., Cosco, N. G., & Danninger, T. M. (2014). Park use among youth and adults: Examination of individual, social, and urban form factors. Environment and Behavior, 46(6), 768–800. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916512470134
This article examines park use in relation to neighborhood social (safety and poverty) and urban form (pedestrian infrastructure and street network pattern) characteristics among youth and adult subpopulations defined by age and gender. We utilized System for Observing Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) and Geographic Information Systems to objectively measure park use and park and neighborhood characteristics in 20 neighborhood parks. Heterogeneous negative binomial regression models indicated that the relationship between park use and types of activity settings, and park use and neighborhood attributes vary by age and gender. In general, the study found that park and activity setting size; activity settings such as playgrounds, basketball courts, pool and water features, shelters, and picnic areas; and availability of sidewalks and intersections in the park’s neighborhood were positively associated with park use, whereas crime, poverty, and racial heterogeneity of the surrounding neighborhood were negatively associated with park use.
This study interrogates relationships between social and physical park and neighborhood characteristics in relation to park use. Positively associated with park use were (a) activity settings (e.g., basketball courts [for boys/adolescents], shelters/picnics [for older adults] and (b) sidewalks and intersections (more adjacent sidewalks [for middle-children and women]). Negatively associated with park use were higher (a) neighborhood racial heterogeneity and (b) poverty/crime.
Description of method used in the article
A cross-sectional study of park users in 20 parks and surrounding neighborhoods in Durham, North Carolina (20 parks chosen from 38 available parks). Neighborhood were defined as areas within 1/4 mile of each respective park along the road network. Parks were subdivided into "activity settings" (134 park zones, average 8.4 per park) and user counts by age group and gender over eight weeks on weekend days at two time periods (10am-2pm, 3pm-7pm). Park use was measured by number of users in each park, and users were coded by activity, gender, and age. IVs include park features (e.g. overall size, zone size, presence of features) and neighborhood characteristics (e.g., size, social attributes, and pedestrian infrastructure). Field work was conducted May through July 2007.
Of some practical use if combined with other research