Date of Award:

5-2020

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee

Ole Russell Sleipness

Committee

Keith Christensen

Committee

Keunhyun Park

Abstract

With rapid urbanization, urban green resources, such as parks have become important assets for quality of life in urban settings. Parks provide urban residents with both physical and psychological health benefits through various mechanisms such as physical activity and social interaction. Quality is an important non-spatial dimension of urban parks and has started to gain attention among researchers. To better understand park quality in an urban setting, additional knowledge should be explored. This dissertation studies the quality of urban parks from three different perspectives: 1) the equal distribution of park quality resources and its relationship to environmental justice issues, 2) the protocols used for measuring the most commonly acknowledged non-spatial dimensions of urban parks, and 3) the association between park quality and social interaction in urban parks.

This study explores park quality from those three different perspectives and presents findings in a 3-part dissertation. The first part determines whether the distribution of park quality was spatially autocorrelated and assessed the associations between separate park features qualities, overall park quality, and multiple indicators of environmental justice issues via a case study in Cache County, Utah; The second part of this study conducts a systematic study to analyze and synthesize the different developed approaches used for assessing non-spatial dimensions of urban parks including park quality and draws implications for future urban landscape planning, design, and research; The third part uses a case study in Logan and North Logan, Utah, and explores the associations between park quality and people’s social interaction in urban parks through an innovatively systematic observational protocol.

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