by SA Wilhelm Stanis, IE Schneider, KJ Sinew, DJ Chavez, MC Vogel

Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 27(4):73-91


The need for greater physical activity to improve human health and well-being in the United States is well established. Parks and recreation areas have a clear role to play in providing opportunities for increased activity. This study interviewed visitors to two different kinds of parks (urban and semi-primitive nonmotorized [SPNM]) in three U.S. cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis) to find factors that influence activity. Constraints included lack of time and family obligations for both kinds of parks. Urban constraints included poor lighting and safety concerns, whereas constraints at SPNM sites were mostly about the logistics of getting there. Recommendations based on the interview results are provided and include careful attention to path design and aesthetics; provision of restroom facilities at SPNM sites; opportunities for multiple uses at urban sites; and measures to increase safety in urban parks.

Publication Type: Journal article
Keywords: crime, human health and well-being, Los Angeles, parks, recreation, safety, and surveys and interviews