The scientific community recognizes that urban green areas play an important role in supporting human wellbeing. Green spaces are used differently by citizens accordingly to their age, gender, education, or lifestyle. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic period in 2020, public green areas were closed due to the limitations imposed by social distancing in Italy and people were forced to stay at home. The aim of this research was to investigate the importance of public green areas in the life of the population in relation to the limits imposed during the first lockdown in Italy. A participatory approach was used, and an online questionnaire focused on people’s perceptions about the public attendance in green areas and their main uses pre-, during, and post-COVID-19 emergency period was administrated randomly to the adult population. The questions focused on the habit, frequency, and duration of park visits and about the individual perceptions and feelings about the green areas close (maximum 200 m distance) to their residences. A total of 3286 responses were obtained and analyzed at national and regional levels (Piemonte). In order to have a general national overview, a basic descriptive statistic was applied using all answers, elaborated in the form of percentages. At the regional level, questions were selected and compared to determine if answers were in related. Statistical analyses with chi-square tests and correspondence analyses were performed. The results indicated that the social distancing period for COVID-19 containment in Italy influenced perceptions about urban green areas. The importance of having outdoor green spaces was highlighted and an increase in interest about urban green areas was observed. Future planning strategies will have to consider the need of designing urban green areas for having more livable cities.
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