Publication Details

Personal benefits of public open space: a case study in Boston's Arnold Arboretum

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More, Thomas A.; Blackwell, John

Year Published

1998

Publication

In: Vogelsong, Hans G., comp, ed. Proceedings of the 1997 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 1997 April 6 - 9; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-241. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 51-55.

Abstract

Managers of urban parks need to document the benefits that their parks produce. Use level is a typical measure of such benefits, but simple use statistics can mask the rich diversity of people and activities that the parks serve. This study examined the uses and users of Boston's Arnold Arboretum during late summer in 1992. On 25 sample days, we recorded observations on 3,983 individuals engaged in 98 different activities. The highest use levels were recorded on sunny afternoons, particularly on weekends; the most common activities were strolling, conversing, looking at something, and cycling. The incidence of problem behavior was slight. These activities represent the personal benefits produced by the Arboretum in that they accrue directly to the individuals involved. Additional research is needed on the social benefits of urban parks that accrue to institutions throughout the community.

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Citation

More, Thomas A.; Blackwell, John. 1998. Personal benefits of public open space: a case study in Boston''s Arnold Arboretum. In: Vogelsong, Hans G., comp, ed. Proceedings of the 1997 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium; 1997 April 6 - 9; Bolton Landing, NY. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-241. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 51-55.

Last updated on: May 7, 2009