Preferences and Perception Influencing Usage of Neighborhood Public Urban Green Spaces in Fast Urbanizing Indian City

Volume (Issue): 12-9
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In rapidly expanding Indian cities, the current provisions for public urban green spaces (PUGS) falls below the minimum standards recommended by the WHO, linked with the well-being of urban dwellers. The local authorities are struggling to fulfill the supply side gap, with a disparity in PUGS provisions. Currently, the provisions focus on fulfilling the prerequisites identified by the planning agencies and do not appropriately address the urban greenspace demands. However, effective planning has been emphasized as a way to respond to the diverse, competing and changing demands of PUGS, allowing the incorporation of the needs and preferences of urban dwellers in the planning and management of PUGS to help determine their multifunctionality, usefulness, and popularity. In response, this study attempts to capture the demands of urban dwellers through local social data for neighborhood PUGS of the fast-urbanizing Nagpur. We attempt to assist local authorities in better understanding the provisions for planning and managing PUGS that can fulfil the growing PUGS needs of urban dwellers. Via a social survey of users and residents, we capture visitations, usage, activities, motives of visits, and perceptions about neighborhood PUGS characteristics. The findings highlight the determinants that influence the usage and favored activities. Urban dwellers have a strong tendency to use neighborhood “parks and gardens” due to their convenient proximity, emphasizing how crucial their location is in shaping urban residents’ engagement with these spaces. The socio-demographics shape the preference, and the locals hold negative perceptions about size, vegetation, amenities, as well as maintenance. The identified determinants (access and availability), influencing factors (socio-demographic), and the barrier to usage (negative perceptions) need prioritized attention from the local authorities to accommodate the diverse and competing demands of different sub-groups of the urban dwellers.