Park-based social capital: are there variations across visitors with different socio-demographic characteristics and behaviours?

Andrew J. Mowen, Ariane L. Rung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neighbourhood parks provide opportunities for social interaction and access to social network-based resources, which may contribute to park-based social capital. Studies of park-based social capital suggest it is a collective, measurable aspect of the built environment. However, social capital may not be uniformly experienced across park visitors with different backgrounds and behaviours. This study assessed the various forms of park-based social capital among visitors to neighbourhood parks in New Orleans, post-Katrina. Variations in social capital across park user socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics were examined. Visitors generally perceived high levels of park-based social capital. Perceptions of social cohesion and informal social control were stronger than perceptions of social leverage and park organization participation. Frequent visits, longer visits, being sedentary, and being Non-White generally corresponded with higher levels of park-based social capital. Study results can inform efforts to enhance park-based social capital through targeting populations and behaviours linked to these perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-324
Number of pages28
JournalLeisure/ Loisir
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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