Use of Small Public Urban Green Spaces (SPUGS)

Karin Peschardt, Jasper Schipperijn, Ulrika Sigsdotter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


During recent years, the use of urban green space (UGS) has received increased attention within several research fields, as well as politically, especially in relation to the benefits it provides for human health. Much research on larger green areas has shown that they are beneficial to people’s health, physically, socially and mentally. However, because of densification tendencies in cities in Western countries, large green areas are a limited resource and many people live in city areas where the distance to larger green areas reduces the possibility for frequent use. Small Public Urban Green Spaces (SPUGS) in dense city areas might contribute to satisfy the need for everyday experiences of outdoor areas, but research on SPUGS is limited. In this paper, we describe how nine SPUGS in Copenhagen are used by the citizens based on data from 686 respondents who completed on-site questionnaires during their visit. The results show that SPUGS are primarily used for ‘socialising’ and ‘rest and restitution’. Furthermore, they are mainly used by well-educated people between the ages of 30 and 49. For ‘socialising’, SPUGS are primarily used on the way home. For ‘rest and restitution’, SPUGS are primarily used ‘en route’ or on the way home. More than half of the respondents reported living more than 1000 m from the SPUGS, and more than half of the respondents reported that they travel more than 500 m to get to the SPUGS. People aged 50–65 are more likely to visit the SPUGS for ‘rest and restitution’ than the younger age groups. Furthermore the older people are, the less likely they are to visit SPUGS to socialise. These results show that SPUGS
are an important asset in citizen’s everyday lives, and the results may provide inspiration for landscape architects, city planners and policy makers for the future planning of dense city areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Forestry & Urban Greening
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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