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Exploring the Associations between Recreational Use and Attachment to Neighbourhood Open Space

Bharati Mohapatra, Abdul Razak Mohamed


Society and nature have been co-evolving, each shaping the other in a dynamic fashion. Therefore, the concept of planning for open spaces should be a mix of the natural and human aspects that recognize the interdependence of people and nature in the ecological, economic and social realities of the city. The human aspects of open space can be looked from the perspective of people-place interactions that focuses on the ‘diversity’ and ‘activity’ which help to create successful public spaces. Therefore, the study has adopted methods to bring out place-specific interactions, which will help to identify community preferences and explore their ‘sense of ‘place’ and attitude towards the neighbourhood open space. The paper evaluates the recreational activities carried out in the neighbourhood parks in terms of place use, to bring out the usage pattern of the place, and also attempts to assess the inhabitants’ sense of place in terms of attachment to these open spaces. The neighbourhood parks in the city of Bhubaneswar are taken as case studies, and household survey is conducted in these neighbourhoods to provide an empirical base for establishing the conceptual relationships between place use and place attachment. Results show that residents have a fair degree of attachment to the parks, and some of the recreational activities have close association with the dimensions of place attachment. Implications of the study are brought out and strategies to promote people-place interactions in the open space are suggested.


Place attachment, Activities, Urban Open Space, Place identity, Place dependence

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