ERIC Number: ED221488
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Local Parks by Older Residents of Urban Areas.
Godbey, Geoffrey; Blazey, Michael
Local parks in five large cities (San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston) were selected for a study of the use of urban parks by older adults (55 to 65 and over). Interviews were conducted with park users to determine: (1) meaning, motivation, and satisfactions associated with local park usage; (2) factors of usage such as time of day, duration of stay, frequency of use, travel mode, and companionship during usage; (3) on-site behaviors, moods, activities, and states of mind; (4) critiques of the park environment and suggested improvements; and (5) projected future use by elderly and nearly elderly park users. In presenting the major findings of the study, characteristics of the respondents are presented first, followed by an analysis of the extent to which data concerning park use by older citizens varies by city and by age category. Presentations are then made concerning older citizens' general assessment of parks, behavior on site, logistics of use, motivation, and satisfaction. Results of a factor analysis of older park users are also presented. Conclusions drawn from the study are discussed along with considerations of implications for the management of urban recreation and park systems with reference to older people. Appendices contain a copy of the interview questionnaire as well as a description of each of the parks studied. Recommendations are also made for improving methods of conducting future studies on this topic. (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: NRTA-AARP Andrus Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park. Recreation and Parks Dept.