Park Spaces and the User Experience

Reconsidering the Body in Park Analysis Tools

in Nature and Culture
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  • 1 University of Maryland School of Public Health, USA estone14@umd.edu
  • 2 University of Maryland School of Public Health, USA jenrob@umd.edu
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Abstract

As a strategy for combating physical inactivity, obesity, and other health conditions, the apperception of greenspace and importance of human-nature relationships have increased in recent decades. With this raised awareness in greenspace, the development of park auditing tools has been positioned primarily in the material conditions (e.g., physical environmental conditions) of parks. An examination of existing park auditing tools has shown that by focusing on particular material conditions, built environment and active living scholars have set aside other characteristics, namely, those that consider the user (e.g., the active human), as a separate concern from the focus of these tools. We have sought to engage with these tools to examine how they can be more effective in analyzing both the physical and human elements of parks and other natural environments.

Contributor Notes

Eric A. Stone is a PhD candidate in Physical Cultural Studies within the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. His research interests focus on the study of physical culture, especially in urban environments. He is also interested in examining the links between the built environment and physical activity, gentrification, and its impacts; sport for development and peace within the US context; and sport for social inclusion. E-mail: estone14@umd.edu.

Jennifer D. Roberts is Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. She is also Director of the Public Health Outcomes and Effects of the Built Environment (PHOEBE) Laboratory. Her research interests focus on the relationship between the built environment and physical activity in addition to its impact on obesity and other public health outcomes. More specifically, much of her research has explored the dynamic relationship between environmental, social, and cultural determinants of physical activity and using empirical evidence of this relationship to infer complex health outcome patterns among adults and children. E-mail: jenrob@umd.edu. ORCID: 0000-0002-1850-4341.

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