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Dec 14

  1. 1. Resource Utilisation and Management of Urban Recreation Areas: A case study for the Victoria Esplanade at Palmerston North, New Zealand
  2. 2. Master of Science in Applied Science Massey University Palmerston North
  3. 3. 5m i) 15 6 k m North Is. (5 9 82 South Is.
  4. 4. 5m i) 15 6 k m North Is. (5 9 82 South Is.
  5. 5. PARK MANAGEMENT Park Management Natural Human Resource Element
  6. 6. Natural Resource Landscape: •Earth, water, air, •plant and animal life, •physical formations
  7. 7. Human Element -the diverse, highly unpredictable and extremely mobile park users, whose presence and activities will certainly take their toll on the physical and biological environment.
  8. 8. Park Management -whose responsibility is to develop and maintain systems that will make the encounter between nature and human not unduly stressful upon each other. harmony
  9. 9. 1876 A.D. Wellington Provincial Government gave Proclaimed 146ha of the Manawatu region to be ‘improved’.
  10. 10. 19 ha. Victoria Esplanade
  11. 11. Victoria Esplanade
  12. 12. Victoria Esplanade resource-oriented recreation riverside walkway nature trails facilities for structured recreation mini-golf course paddling pool
  13. 13. “The Esplanade has a prototype of the native bush - a semblance of the lowland region of Manawatu a century ago.”
  14. 14. The Research Problem Landscape’s multiple attributes attract park users (various kinds) “Very difficult, if not impossible, to concentrate on a single management approach”
  15. 15. consider the following research problem related to the park’s: •resources, •their multi- functionality, and •utilisation.
  16. 16. Specifically, the inquiry raises these questions: i) what are the function/s of the park’s resources, ii) who utilise these resources, iii) how are they utilised?
  17. 17. Esplanade’s Recreational Resources Purposes Intrinsic Rights and Values: •Direct values (consumptive use and productive use) •Indirect values (non- consumptive use, option value and existence value).
  18. 18. OBJECTIVES The general aim of the study is to be able to obtain an all-inclusive picture as to how to go about in managing the Victoria Esplanade.
  19. 19. Particularly, this study is grounded on the following Specific Objectives:
  20. 20. 1. To measure the temporal and spatial levels of park use.
  21. 21. 2. To characterise the site visits.
  22. 22. 3. To characterise the site visitors.
  23. 23. 4. To infer from the results recommendations that would make Victoria Esplanade more visitor-friendly.
  24. 24. 5. To draw conclusions and recommendations that would prove beneficial, not only to the future management of the Esplanade but also to similar areas not only in New Zealand but also in other parts of the world.
  25. 25. 1. To measure the temporal and spatial levels of park use. This first objective seeks to measure variations in seasonal as well as area-wise resource utilisation. Both these aspects will be accomplished through a user survey questionnaire. The survey will establish the variation in levels of use, measured in average number of visiting days per year, usual time of visits, average hour spent, and seasonal percentages of visits. The second part of this objective will establish the relative distribution of visitors for each major areas of the Esplanade.
  26. 26. 2. To characterise the site visits. The second objective seeks to describe actual site visits. Data gathered will include frequency of area visitation, and pattern of activities participated in. Data for trip description will include journey time to the park, travel time, mode of transport, and types of route usually taken, i.e., what street or entrance or exit is/are frequently used.
  27. 27. 3. To characterise the site visitors. The third objective seeks to establish the socio- demographic backgrounds and attitudes of park visitors. Socio-demographic parameters would include age, gender, group composition, education, geographical origin, occupation, employment status, and income. Visitors’ attitude concerning the park areas will be dealt with in terms of their likes and dislikes, and desired improvements on park facilities and services.
  28. 28. 4. To infer from the results recommendations that would make Victoria Esplanade more visitor friendly. It is understood that such recommendations are to serve only as guides, and should not be viewed as mandatory on the part of the park’s management.
  29. 29. 5. To draw conclusions and recommendations that would prove beneficial, not only to the future management of the Esplanade but also to similar areas not only in New Zealand but also in other parts of the world. This study will then stand among all existing studies on park utilization. It will also update previous surveys on the Esplanade, such as those conducted by Brassell, C. Cottle, A., Gan, K.C., Hunt, M., Jones,and R., & A. Kirkland (1991) as well as complement the city’s PNCC plan.
  30. 30. Research Approach •The study focuses on users and guests of the Victoria Esplanade following the seasonal cycle. •Survey respondents were chosen randomly over the normal visiting hours of the day. An interview schedule geared to surface information vital to the study was earlier prepared. The schedule was pre-tested and fine-tuned before it was actually administered. •Results of the interview were then duly collated, analysed and interpreted. The findings are presented in this paper.
  31. 31. Rationale of the Study •A park manager’s primary instrument in his job is basic knowledge of its user’s preferences. •Park management would most likely want to know, 1) who use the park, comparing data with the wider community surrounding the park; 2) which park facilities are overused, underused, and misused by the park visitors, facilitating decisions on future investment strategies; 3) why some members of the community do not use the park, providing guidance for outreach programs; 4) what features of the park do visitors value most, thereby providing bases for conflict resolution among groups in the community.
  32. 32. Limitations of study •Exploratory undertaking with the aim of characterising the respondents of the survey •This will not establish the recreational demand for the whole of Palmerston North community; rather, it will focus only on the actual visitors of the Esplanade •Although comparison will be made between this study and a previous one on the esplanade’s usage, such comparison is also limited in the sense that the two studies are almost a decade apart, i.e. preferences changes through time.
  33. 33. •Moreover, the immediate focus of this study is that of managing the landscape while at the same time providing for recreation. •Due to the interconnectedness of things, in reality, a more cyclical management process involving the aforementioned management programs or responsibilities should be taking place. Hence, this study is not necessarily an end in itself.
  34. 34. •Much of the recommendations ensuing from the results and discussion section are very much superficial, with only the major management considerations taken into account. •On the part of the researcher, no detailed park management plan is envisioned to materialise, although it is the very aim of the study to contribute to such a plan. •Nevertheless, results provide valuable information to park management in general particularly on the inter-connectedness of man and his landscape.
  35. 35. Research Methodology
  36. 36. Pilot studies preliminary main survey surveys questionnaire and on-site visitor survey type (personally visual distributed, self- censuses administered, mail- back survey) question formulation
  37. 37. main survey questionnaire •literature review on parks and/or recreation management •series of consultation with supervisors •the visitors themselves, and •the park management
  38. 38. Questions Used: •Fixed response or closed response questions, e.g. Gender: M or F • Rating scale method, e.g. How often do you visit the park each year? •Open-ended questions or Free- response questions, e.g. Give a word which describes how you feel after each visit.
  39. 39. •questionnaires were distributed systematically; 1:10 visitors encountered were asked to take part in the survey. •each questionnaires was number- coded. •data such as time and area of distribution, as well as the prevailing weather condition of each outing noted.
  40. 40. Sections: •The respondent’s socio- demographic profile •The park’s variations in level of use over time •Characteristic of the trip •Characteristic of the visit •Variations on level of use over space •Attitudes of the visitors
  41. 41. Results
  42. 42. Socio-demographic Profile 1. The ‘30-39’ years range dominated both samples of respondents. promote the park (or any of its resources) by targeting particular age groups that didn’t surface in the survey. 2. Older groups tend to do more annual visits to the park compared with the younger population. it is argued that older people visit more frequently and stay for greater lengths of time retain peaceful atmosphere or spaces, which are often perceived as safer places in which to relax by older people
  43. 43. 3. Females greatly dominated both samples. 4. Half or more than half of the sampled respondents have children (dominated by pre-schoolers) living with them. 5. These women (with children) come to the park more often in winter than in summer. So far, gender and age should play a major factor in park management considerations. 6. Majority of the respondents were the ‘homemakers’ followed by the ‘professionals’; the least were the unskilled laborers e.g. ‘clerks’. 7. The higher the education or qualification, the greater the degree of park visitation (participation).
  44. 44. 8. Middle classes and the Upper classes devote more visits to the Esplanade compared to the lower income groups and the unemployed.
  45. 45. Temporal Level of Park Usage •Most people visit the parks during weekends •Visitations were more frequent during public holidays and increased during school holidays •Visits typically reveals a marked focus upon weekend as opposed to weekday use In lieu of the above, if ever time or maintenance support is an issue, the management could probably concentrate in preparing the park (e.g, pruning for safety reasons) more for the weekend visitors or scheduling major works like those entailing lots of noise during the lesser peak days.
  46. 46. •The usual rate of yearly visits for most visitors is <10 times. •The number of visitors is indirectly proportional to the frequency of visitation. occasional users would comprise the majority of the respondents, while the regular users would compose the minority of the visitors
  47. 47. •Winter and Summer samples equally preferred the 8-12 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. visitation time frames. •Usual time of accessing or entering the park produced two modes in the time frames of 8-12 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. •Visitation means were 1.6 ± 0.88 hours for the winter sampling and 1.8 ± 0.96 hours for the summer sampling. improving the landscape amenities or introducing new attractions, or management may also opt not to do anything to address duration of visits, but rather address the less represented portion of the population.
  48. 48. •For both samples, summer visitation was found to be proportionately higher with mean values of 60% and 70% for the summer season and winter season, respectively. the effect of season on one’s participation is clearly evident here to augment visitor population during the lean winter months, the park management could embark on initiating seasonal programs, particularly winter activities. Also, comprehensive asset assessment and major physical maintenance could also be performed during this period when fewer visitors would be bothered by maintenance work.
  49. 49. The Trip • About 75%-80% of the respondents came from their places of residence. • These were followed by those who have to travel longer distances to visit. • A very minimal number of respondents said they come directly from their work. • About 4/5 of the total respondents were from the city (winter: 70.3%, and summer: 71.6%). actual location of a facility is a major determining factor in participation rate and falls progressively as one move farther away from the facility.
  50. 50. •The usual mode of going to the park is by a private car (75% of the respondents); 1/5 travel by walking (on foot). Government agencies could be tapped as program partners of the park to assist people who have no access to cars in going to the park. Inter-agency cooperation just like the ones used by parks in the Chicago district (USA) have worked successfully in program implementation and for financial support. Increase maintenance rate of cycling lane and walk paths.
  51. 51. •The usual length of time it takes most people to reach the park is 10 minutes. “all studies tend to indicate that open space is typically a localised resource, and unless there is a special purpose, the distance travelled to parks will not normally exceed a mile, or thereabouts.”
  52. 52. •More than 40% of the respondents (both samplings) indicated the use of Gate 5 as their points of entry and exit. While, Gate 2 accounted for generally one-fifth of the respondents’ responses. In total, almost 70% of the respondents utilize these two gates. This may indicate the need to make improvements in the gate areas since these areas give visitors their initial and final impression of the park. The other designated entry and exit points that appeared in the survey must be assessed for other attributes that visitors do look, as for instance safety or aesthetic value.
  53. 53. The Visit •Approximately half of the respondents from both samplings indicated that they were with their ‘children’ during their visits. •The mean total number of individuals per group (including the respondent) was 4.8 (~ 5 individuals). Since majority of the park visit had to do with children, that is, adults accompanying their children in the playgrounds, the Esplanade park management must make every effort to make its facilities as child-friendly as possible. Playground equipment must meet international safety standards. Annual and/or even periodic comprehensive asset assessments would probably reveal what need to be done to achieve this ideal.
  54. 54. Spatial Level of Park Usage •only the playground had the highest rate of visitation at six on the scale, which says ‘More always than sometimes.’ •Areas that were visited ‘Sometimes’ include the Victoria Drive, the Riverside Walkway, the Nature Trail, the Palm Drive, the Rose Garden, the Aviary, and the Duck Pond. The remaining 18 other areas is even less visited. This means these areas really deserve a careful consideration as far as visitation is concern. It could also be seen that some of these areas, like the Manawaroa Park (Rugby field) and the hockey pitches, cater to highly ‘specific’ clientele, i.e. individual or groups with specific sport activities in mind.
  55. 55. Children’s Playground
  56. 56. Victoria Drive
  57. 57. Riverside Walkway
  58. 58. Nature Trail
  59. 59. Palm Drive
  60. 60. Rose Garden
  61. 61. Aviary
  62. 62. Duck Pond
  63. 63. •The top three activities include ‘walking’, ‘playing in playground’ and ‘picnic’. During the winter sampling ‘walking’ ranked first with a mode of 78.9%, followed by ‘playing’ at 65.6% and the third was having a ‘picnic’ with 57.8%. For the summer sampling, the top two activities for the winter samples switched places. ‘Playing’ ranks first with 73.3%, followed by ‘walking’ with 70.7%, then ‘picnic’ with 66.4% at third. Very much related to the spatial level of use are the types of activities the respondents have been participating in
  64. 64. Attitudes of the Visitors •Favourite areas consistently chosen by respondents from both samples were the Rose Garden, the playground, the aviary, the nature trail and the riverside walkway.
  65. 65. The Victoria Esplanade is ranked as one of the top ten parks in New Zealand (Tritenbach, 1987). It is an important resource and recreational space for the city of Palmerston North (Henderson, 1995) It has facilities for both passive and active recreation. The park has a variety of attractions which include an extensive native bush and flower gardens, children’s playground, the aviary, ponds and paddling pool, miniature railway and many more (Crawford 1972). The Victoria Esplanade Gardens has an area of 19 acres, and is bounded on its south and south-southwest portion by the Manawatu River, on its northwestern part by Park Road, a major portion to its north by Ongley and Manawaroa Parks, and to its north eastern portion by Fitzherbert Avenue (see Figure 1.2 for the Esplanade’s map). The Palmerston North City Council’s brochure for the Victoria Esplanade details the garden’s history: In 1876 the Wellington Provincial Government granted the newly established borough of Palmerston North 361 acres of land for use as a public park, recreational ground and botanic gardens. The development of the Esplanade began in1897 with a gravel footpath laid out at the Fitzherbert Street (now Avenue). This was named “Victoria Drive” to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubilee.
  66. 66. Victoria Esplanade serves great historical, horticultural and recreational function for Palmerston. Yet it is possible that its potential as a park has not yet been fully realised (Scrimgeour, 1990). No available data quantifying public utilization of the Esplanade existed prior to Brasell, Cottle, Gan, Hunt, Jones & Kirkland (1991). Brasell and his colleagues did a preliminary study through a telephone survey. The output consisted of responses from a randomly selected sample of 180 Palmerston North residents. It identified the most popular attractions of the park—the rose gardens, followed by the aviary, various other plant displays, and the conservatory. Such attractions are passive and more general in nature and hence appeal to people of all ages. The more specific and often active attractions include the children’s play area, tearoom facilities, and the river walk and bridle track. These facilities appeal to particular groups of visitors. The mini-golf area and miniature railway also attract their own particular visitors (Brasell al., et 1991). Ten years after Brasell’s study, no additional studies of a similar nature has been undertaken. The demographic profile of the park users’ may have already changed, yet comprehensive studies on the utilization of the park’s resources continue to be scarce.