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Are Perceived Sensory Dimensions a Reliable Tool for Urban Green Space Assessment and Planning?

Qiu, Ling, Nielsen, Anders Busse
Landscape research 2015 v.40 no.7 pp. 834-854
biotopes, dimensions, gender, landscapes, people, planning, questionnaires, Scandinavia, Sweden
Environmental psychologists have developed varying methods for landscape assessment according to how it is perceived and experienced. In the Nordic countries, eight perceived sensory dimensions are increasingly being used as a methodological framework for expert assessments. These are serene, nature, rich in species, space, prospect, refuge, social and culture. Using an onsite questionnaire distributed to green space visitors in Helsingborg, Sweden, this study is the first to examine the representation of the eight sensory dimensions in different types of urban green spaces as experienced by lay people and their relationships with green space attributes. The results showed that (1) prospect then serene and space were the most common, and culture and social the least; (2) the experience of the sensory dimensions varied across the six study sites and was related to their diversity of biotopes and overall size; and (3) respondent experience of the sensory dimensions was consistent across gender, age and frequency and type of recreational use. These results grant legitimacy to the method in assessment and mapping of recreational experience of urban green space.