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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 529; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050529

Perceived Health Benefits and Willingness to Pay for Parks by Park Users: Quantitative and Qualitative Research

1
Deakin University, Geelong Australia, Health Nature and Sustainability Research Group, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
2
Deakin University, Geelong Australia, Deakin Health Economics, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
3
Deakin University, Geelong Australia, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
4
Deakin University, Geelong Australia, School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
5
Parks and Leisure Australia, PLA National Office, 207 The Parade, Norwood, SA 5067, Australia
6
Parks and Leisure Australia, P.O. Box 536, Walkerville, SA 5081, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Harry Timmermans
Received: 28 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 1 May 2017 / Published: 15 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [311 KB, uploaded 16 May 2017]

Abstract

Whilst a growing body of evidence demonstrates people derive a range of health and wellbeing benefits from visiting parks, only a limited number of attempts have been made to provide a complementary economic assessment of parks. The aim of this exploratory study was to directly estimate the perceived health and wellbeing benefits attained from parks and the economic value assigned to parks by park users in Victoria, Australia. The research employed a mixed methods approach (survey and interviews) to collect primary data from a selection of 140 park users: 100 from two metropolitan parks in Melbourne and 40 from a park on the urban fringe of Melbourne, Victoria. Our findings suggest that park users derive a range of perceived physical, mental/spiritual, and social health benefits, but park use was predominantly associated with physical health benefits. Overall, our exploratory study findings suggest that park users are willing to pay for parks, as they highly value them as places for exercising, socialising, and relaxing. Importantly, most people would miss parks if they did not exist. The findings aim to provide park managers, public health advocates, and urban policy makers with evidence about the perceived health and wellbeing benefits of park usage and the economic value park visitors place on parks. View Full-Text
Keywords: parks; health; wellbeing; economic value parks; health; wellbeing; economic value
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Henderson-Wilson, C.; Sia, K.-L.; Veitch, J.; Staiger, P.K.; Davidson, P.; Nicholls, P. Perceived Health Benefits and Willingness to Pay for Parks by Park Users: Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 529.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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