- Research paper
Habitat International, Volume 41, January 2014, Pages 114–120. The motives of people for visiting urban green spaces (UGS) mirror their needs and expectations on UGS, which help to ascertain why people patronize UGS in the way they do. Such knowledge can promote effective decision making in satisfying the public needs and anticipations for UGS. However, the efforts to address the motives for visiting UGS are limited, whereby less attention is given to the related socio-demographic variations. This study concentrated on the motives for visiting UGS and the relevant differences across social groups in Guangzhou, China. Data were obtained from the responses of 595 visitors by using stratified random sampling, and in-person questionnaire survey at 24 UGS across the city. The results indicated that the nature- and exercise-dominated multiple motives call for multi-purpose management and multifunctional planning and design of the UGS. The significant variations in the motives for visiting were associated with the socio-demographic factors. Decision-makers should seriously consider the particular needs and expectations of the diverse groups, and consider these factors in the decision-making process concerning UGS. Further work could investigate non-users and associations of age and characteristics of UGS with motives for visiting. With complexities of cities, more attention needs to be given to the use of consistent methodologies in future research to obtain comparable findings and further generalizations.