Urban green spaces and their role in the quality of life of residents have been studied across multiple disciplines, based on empirical measurements or qualitative studies – however, the relation, and its strength, between spatial indicators of urban green spaces and visitors’ perceptions of green spaces are less known. Addressing this knowledge deficit, the present research uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) to link subjective evaluations of the physical environment and objective spatial indicators, to examine the correlation between the perceived and objective characteristics of five urban parks in the city of Szeged, Hungary. A questionnaire survey was used to collect residents’ subjective perceptions of the parks, while objective – which is to say measurable and mappable – spatially explicit indicators of the respective green spaces were calculated using GIS. The subjective evaluations of the parks were matched to the objective indicators using a multiple regression analysis. The statistical analysis yielded two moderate and two minor correlations between the human perceptions of the investigated green spaces and the nine objective environmental indicators examined. These results showed that subjective evaluations and objective data reveal different aspects of the same reality. Therefore, the recommendations from this study are to collectively use human perceptions and objective environmental indicators, both of which are fundamental for adequately capturing the role of urban green spaces in quality of life.
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Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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