This study explores the benefits urban parks provide to city dwellers by examining previous research and by surveying park visitors. The researcher studies the environmental benefits of urban green spaces but primarily investigates the psychological and social influences and attributes of park areas. Survey results indicate that: (1) park visitors come for relaxation and as an escape from the city itself, (2) being in nature gives individuals the feeling of freedom, and (3) people are dissatisfied with the current amount of green space present in the city. Survey results also showed that while there was no significant difference in responses based on gender, there was a difference depending on age. The study concludes by arguing that a truly sustainable city will need to give greater importance to its natural spaces and utilize citizen input to successfully create spaces for social and psychological renewal.

Full article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204603001865

Chiesura, A. (2004). The Role of Urban Parks for the Sustainable City. Landscape and Urban Planning, 68, 129-138.