Assessing restorative components of small urban parks using conjoint methodology

Helena Nordh, Chaham Alalouch, Terry Hartig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many studies have supported the proposition that natural environments contribute positively to psychological restoration. Less attention has been given to the relative importance of the physical environmental components that contribute to the restorative potential of such environments. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relative importance of environmental components, in small urban parks, for people looking for somewhere to sit down and rest. To address this aim, we used choice-based conjoint analysis, coupled with hierarchical Bayes estimation, to assess the utilities assigned to grass, bushes, trees, flower beds, water features, and the number of other people in the park. Via a web-based questionnaire, adult residents of Oslo, Norway (N= 154) were presented with text describing successive pairs of park alternatives. Each alternative was comprised of a set of environmental components at different levels. The respondents were to choose the preferred alternative in each pair, given that they were fatigued and looking for a place to rest for a little while. The amounts of grass, trees and other people had the most influence on their choices among park alternatives. Responses across groups defined by age, gender and earlier experience with parks and nature were relatively homogenous. From a planning perspective, the findings indicate the importance of focusing on structural components such as grass and trees rather than decorative components such as flowers and water features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-103
Number of pages9
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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grass
methodology
flower
grasses
structural component
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flowers
water
Norway
questionnaires
planning
restoration
analysis
natural environment

Keywords

  • Attention restoration
  • Landscape architecture
  • Park design
  • Restorative environment
  • Stress recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Soil Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

Assessing restorative components of small urban parks using conjoint methodology. / Nordh, Helena; Alalouch, Chaham; Hartig, Terry.

In: Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2011, p. 95-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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