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Why do we choose fear-evoking spots in parks? The role of danger and privacy in the model of dependence between spatial attributes and preference

Lis, Aleksandra, Zalewska, Karolina, Iwankowski, Paweł
Urban forestry & urban greening 2019 v.38 pp. 193-204
crime, humans, models, parks, vegetation
The study is an initial attempt to describe the mechanisms that shape human feelings towards hidden and difficult-to-access places in city parks. We studied these mechanisms by testing a 4-level model that we suggested. In the study, we used computer-modified photos of places in parks. We conducted an analysis of the correlation with Pearson’s r coefficient and a number of analyses of the mediation effects. The nature of the interactions assumed in the model has been confirmed. In terms of the relation between the accessibility of a particular space and the user's preferences the following intermediaries are noted: first, the feeling of being out of control and then the sense of privacy and danger. In addition, the negative correlations between danger and preference are reduced when excluding the impact of privacy, and the positive correlations between privacy and preference are reduced when excluding the impact of danger. Our findings modify the idea that vegetation in parks should be shaped so that it does not provide hiding places for potential criminals. In places where the threat of crime is low, leaving hidden places that fulfil the need for privacy is in line with the users' preferences.