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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020360

Understanding Stakeholder Perceptions of Acceptability and Feasibility of Formal and Informal Planting in Sheffield’s District Parks

Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield, The Arts Tower, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
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Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract

Parks are well-visited sites of an urban nature in our cities where users can gain positive social and ecological benefits from vegetation including trees, grass, flowering plants and shrubs. However, ongoing financial public sector budget pressure is adversely affecting the management and quality of parks in the UK, resulting in changing vegetation and planting practices. It is not clear how such changes might affect park users, indicating scope for better understanding of how planting in urban parks is perceived. This paper addresses this gap in knowledge by exploring perceptions held by users who experience vegetation in parks and those involved in the decision-making about planting therein. It examines the feasibility and acceptability of three different planting practices according to different stakeholders in Sheffield, UK. This paper calls on empirical data collected via questionnaire surveys with residents around six district parks, and interviews and focus groups with community groups and professionals to gain an understanding of stakeholders’ perceptions. The paper illustrates different attitudes towards formal and naturalistic (informal) planting, exploring a prevalent shift towards low-maintenance practices in green space management. The findings suggest a range of influences on feasibility and acceptability of planting practices, including the local park context and stakeholder perceptions of public opinion. View Full-Text
Keywords: planting; green space management; stakeholder; place-keeping; decision-making; perceptions; urban parks planting; green space management; stakeholder; place-keeping; decision-making; perceptions; urban parks
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Nam, J.; Dempsey, N. Understanding Stakeholder Perceptions of Acceptability and Feasibility of Formal and Informal Planting in Sheffield’s District Parks. Sustainability 2019, 11, 360.

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