Barriers to attachment? Relationships among constraints, attachment, and visitation to urban parks

Jaclyn R. Rushing, Mark D. Needham, Ashley D'Antonio, Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article examined constraints to visiting urban parks, whether constraints varied between traditionally well-served (white majority) and underserved (minorities) populations, and relationships among constraints, visitation, and place attachment for these groups. Data from two samples of Portland, Oregon (US) residents (n = 620, 2708) showed the primary constraints were limited knowledge about these parks, lack of access, and being too busy. There were minimal differences in these and most other constraints between underserved and well-served groups, but underserved residents were more constrained by race and cultural issues (e.g., lack of park visitor and staff diversity). There were no differences between groups in visitation or attachment associated with their favorite park. Constraints and visitation explained 20% of the variance in attachment for well-served residents and 29–32% for underserved residents, and constraints explained 3–18% of the variance in visitation for well-served residents and 9–11% for underserved residents. The strongest negative predictor of attachment for both groups was these parks not being the best places, and strong positive predictors for both groups were visitation frequency and lack of park facilities and services. For well-served residents, race and cultural issues were also strong predictors of attachment. For underserved residents, limited knowledge about these parks was also a strong predictor. Management implications: This article examined constraints to visiting urban parks, whether constraints varied between traditionally well-served (white majority) and underserved (minorities) populations, and relationships among constraints, visitation, and place attachment for these groups. Data from two samples of Portland, Oregon (US) residents (n = 620, 2708) showed the primary constraints were limited knowledge about these parks, lack of access, and being too busy. There were minimal differences in these and most other constraints between underserved and well-served groups, but underserved residents were more constrained by race and cultural issues (e.g., lack of park visitor and staff diversity). There were no differences between groups in visitation or attachment associated with their favorite park. Constraints and visitation explained 20% of the variance in attachment for well-served residents and 29–32% for underserved residents, and constraints explained 3–18% of the variance in visitation for well-served residents and 9–11% for underserved residents. The strongest negative predictor of attachment for both groups was these parks not being the best places, and strong positive predictors for both groups were visitation frequency and lack of park facilities and services. For well-served residents, race and cultural issues were also strong predictors of attachment. For underserved residents, limited knowledge about these parks was also a strong predictor. The only predictors of visitation were fear, access, and costs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100228
    JournalJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
    Volume27
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2019

    Keywords

    • Constraints
    • Minorities
    • Outdoor recreation
    • Place attachment
    • Urban parks
    • Visitation

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