What Role Do Urban Parks Play in Forming a Sense of Place? Lessons for Geodesign Using Social Media

Yijun Zeng, Brian Deal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sense of place is a multidimensional construct that evokes an emotional commitment to a specific geographic setting. It can be a crucial aspect of cultural ecosystem services. While social media has gained popularity as a tool for assessing ecosystem services, its effectiveness in capturing a sense of place, its impact on cultural ecosystem services, and its role in the landscape design process remains less certain. This study investigates the role of urban parks in shaping the sense of place by analyzing user-generated content from a specific social media platform (Twitter). We gathered tweets from 30 diverse urban parks in Chicago, covering various park types, sizes, shapes, and management styles. Our analysis reveals multiple facets of the sense of place associated with urban parks. We suggest that a sense of place is not solely rooted in the attachment to physical surroundings but also in the personal experiences individuals encounter within these spaces. Residents residing near parks tend to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility, leading to stronger emotional bonds with their environment. Urban parks foster community engagement, enhance social cohesion, and offer opportunities for nature-based experiences. Furthermore, this study underscores the significance of diverse park features, accessibility, and size in bolstering place attachment. Our research demonstrates the potential for geoinformation analysis in the geodesign process as a cost-effective and scalable approach for understanding the person–place connection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1960
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • sense of place
  • social media
  • urban park
  • place attachment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


Dive into the research topics of 'What Role Do Urban Parks Play in Forming a Sense of Place? Lessons for Geodesign Using Social Media'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this