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Open AccessArticle

The Relationship between User Perception and Preference of Greenway Trail Characteristics in Urban Areas

Department of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, Sanghuh College of Life Sciences, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Korea
Department of Landscape Architecture, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehakro, Bukgu, Daegu 41566, Korea
Division of Environmental Science & Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, 145 Anam-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 02841, Korea
Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4438;
Received: 15 June 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Behaviour and Collective Decision Making)
PDF [3544 KB, uploaded 16 August 2019]


Greenways provide multiple benefits for trail users’ individual experiences based on users’ background environment and their perceptions of characteristics such as the trail width, vegetation, water, and facilities. Although greenway trail characteristics are important factors that affect users’ preferences, only a few studies have examined individuals’ experiences of greenways based on their perceptions and preferences. The purpose of this study is to examine how greenway trails can be designed to improve users’ experiences in relation to their perceptions and preferences by considering trail characteristics. We examine the relationship between greenway trail characteristics and likability using t-tests as well as correlation and multiple regression analyses. In the current study, virtual tour surveys of greenway users were conducted, with two urban greenway trails as the study sites: Town Lake Trail in Austin, Texas, and Buffalo Bayou Trail in Houston, Texas. Perceptions of all eight greenway trail characteristics, except for background buildings, were significantly different between the trails, and a significant difference in likability was found for five characteristics (the presence of water, trail facilities, trail width, adjacent automobile traffic, and built structures on the trail). In addition, the results of the correlation and multiple regression analyses revealed that the presence of water, amount of vegetation, automobile traffic, and built structures were correlated with likability. These findings suggest that designing appropriate types of greenway trails can help increase users’ likeability ratings of urban greenways. This study contributes to the enhancement of trail environments by providing strategies for practitioners to effectively design and manage greenways. View Full-Text
Keywords: greenway; trail characteristics; user perceptions; user preferences; likability; greenway planning and design greenway; trail characteristics; user perceptions; user preferences; likability; greenway planning and design

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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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Lee, J.; Lee, H.-S.; Jeong, D.; Shafer, C.S.; Chon, J. The Relationship between User Perception and Preference of Greenway Trail Characteristics in Urban Areas. Sustainability 2019, 11, 4438.

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