An Island in a Sea of Development: An Examination of Place Attachment, Activity Type, and Crowding in an Urban National Park

Ryan L. Sharp, Julie A. Sharp, Craig A Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As more people move to urban areas there will be increased pressure on existing green spaces to offer places for recreation, contemplation, historic interpretation, exercise, and nature appreciation. Development and a rise in population has led to too few public recreation sites available in many regions of the world resulting in unsustainable pressure being applied to parks. The objective of this study was to examine how place attachment may be related to type and frequency of park use and management issues regarding crowding. Data for this study were obtained via intercept survey of a random sample of visitors (N = 1088) at a park in the Metro Atlanta area, Georgia. Results suggest that place attachment had a significant relationship with frequency of visits and types of activities that visitors engaged in. There was, however, no significant relation between place attachment and crowding. First-time visitors and less frequent visitors felt most crowded, which may support the idea that the most frequent visitors expect it to be crowded and are, therefore, less sensitive to it. This study sheds light on how visitors to an urban park view their experience while recreating, and may inform policies and regulations that will help mitigate the unique management situations that urban parks present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-213
Number of pages18
JournalVisitor Studies
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Museology

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