Deakin University

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Adolescents’ perceptions of park characteristics that discourage park visitation

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-10, 02:14 authored by Elise Rivera, Anna TimperioAnna Timperio, VHY Loh, B Deforche, Jenny VeitchJenny Veitch
Parks are key amenities of liveable cities that support physical activity and social interaction. However, parks are often not well attended by adolescents, and little is known about what park characteristics may discourage adolescents from visiting parks. The aim of this study was to explore what park characteristics adolescents perceive as most likely to discourage park visitation. Adolescents (n = 444, 13–18 years, 53% female) from seven schools in diverse areas of Melbourne, Australia completed an online survey at school. In response to an open-ended question, participants listed three park characteristics that would most likely discourage their park visitation. Content analysis was performed to determine categories of park characteristics from the coded responses. The six most frequently stated park characteristics that would discourage park visitation related to: play equipment (e.g., small/children's playgrounds, no play equipment, no swings; 44% of participants mentioned the category at least once); social factors (e.g., crowded parks, presence of undesirable people; 32%); natural environment (e.g., small/no grassy space, large grassy open space; 28%); maintenance (e.g., dirty facilities, rubbish; 23%); sport/recreation features (e.g., skate park; 20%); and amenities (e.g., no shade, toilets, drink taps; 19%). To encourage more adolescents to increasingly visit parks, it is imperative for stakeholders to address the park features that they perceive as unappealing to ensure that park design caters to this important age group.



Urban Forestry and Urban Greening



Article number

ARTN 127669







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal