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Attitudes about urban nature parks: A case study of users and nonusers in Portland, Oregon
Landscape and Urban Planning (2013)
  • Joshua W.R. Baur, Dr.
  • Joanne Tynon, Oregon State University
  • Edwin Gómez, Old Dominion University
Facing shrinking budgets and increasing urban development pressures, natural resource professionals are challenged to ensure urban green spaces remain a planning priority for decision makers. Urban green spaces like nature parks contribute to quality of life by providing physical and psychological benefits, as well as ecosystem services. Urban nature parks that are responsive to public needs will be valued by the public, who will ultimately express their interests through voting. In order for management to be responsive to the public, park professionals need to understand public attitudes about urban nature spaces.
This case study used an attitude model developed in social psychology to examine Portland, Oregon users’ and nonusers’ attitudes about city nature parks. Few studies have attempted to capture information from nonusers and users simultaneously. Results from our sample, obtained from a randomly distributed mailback questionnaire, revealed significant attitude differences between users and nonusers.
Urban park professionals in Portland can use our results to differentially guide management and outreach for each group. Watching urban wildlife influenced nonuser attitudes, for example, so targeted outreach to nonusers might highlight this activity. Nonusers are especially important to reach given that they represent potential growth in constituency and advocacy. To ensure continued positive experiences among users, management and outreach could appeal to their biocentricism. If Portland's park professionals demonstrate that they are responding to public attitudes, Portland's citizens will feel that they matter to park managers, and can be expected to respond in kind.
  • Urban nature parks,
  • Public attitudes,
  • Tripartite model,
  • Portland,
  • Oregon
Publication Date
September, 2013
Citation Information
Joshua W.R. Baur, Joanne Tynon and Edwin Gómez. "Attitudes about urban nature parks: A case study of users and nonusers in Portland, Oregon" Landscape and Urban Planning Vol. 117 (2013) p. 100 - 111 ISSN: 0169-2046
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