The use and appreciation of urban green spaces: the case of selected botanical gardens in South Africa

Ward, C.D. and Parker, C.M and Shackleton, C.M. (2010) The use and appreciation of urban green spaces: the case of selected botanical gardens in South Africa. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 9 (1). pp. 49-56. ISSN 1618-8667

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2009.11.001

Abstract

There are few formal studies on the contribution of botanical gardens as urban green spaces, particularly within developing countries. Therefore, this paper reports on an assessment of the use and appreciation of botanical gardens as urban green spaces in South Africa. Users and staff were surveyed in six national botanical gardens. The gardens provided numerous benefits in terms of conservation, education and recreation. However, the people using the gardens were not demographically representative of the general population of the surrounding city or town. Generally, most of the visitors were middle- to old-aged, well-educated professionals with medium to high incomes. Most were white and English was their home language. There was an even gender representation. Most visited only a few times per year. The majority of users visited the gardens for recreation and psychological reasons rather than educational ones. However, the staff of each garden placed emphasis on education in the gardens and amongst surrounding schools. Most visitors appreciated the conservation dimensions of botanical gardens, and felt that there was insufficient public green space in their town or city. Understanding how people perceive and use the botanical gardens of South Africa is important to inform future research and strategies regarding the conservation of urban green space within a developing country.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Urban green spaces; South Africa; Botanical gardens; parks; Conservation; Developing countries; Recreation; User profiles
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Environmental Science
ID Code:2437
Deposited By: Prof Charlie Shackleton
Deposited On:13 Feb 2012 12:32
Last Modified:13 Feb 2012 12:32
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