For our leisure activity we chose to observe and compile a report based on the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens and the importance of its role in the Brisbane community. Our goal was to critically observe the leisure behaviours and social context of participants and the characteristics of the Botanic Gardens setting itself.
I would respectfully like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are speaking and discussing today, the Yugarabul, Yuggera, Jagera and Turrbal peoples. (http://www.reconciliation.qld.gov.au/recognition/, http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/cultural_heritage/pdf/jagera_chb.pdf)
Unstructured – no formal rules Participant – researcher is a participant in the setting/environment being studied Covert – unknown/hidden/disguised from the observants that they were being studied. 3pm on a September Monday afternoon.
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens is a living museum of plant collections, displaying early heritage specimens through to present exotic and native plantings. It is considered to be one of the most important non-indigenous cultural landscapes in Queensland and is recognized for its natural and historic values. In addition to the plant collections, there are a number of significant heritage features. Botanic Garden is Brisbane’s oldest park which used to a zoo with bears and was the site of Queensland’s first sugar cane crop and then experimental trees such as jacarandas and macadamias.
Today, the inner city garden’ paths along the riverfront are popular with roller bladders, cyclists and runners. Walk through the beautiful Brisbane City Botanic Gardens accompanied by a Brisbane botanic gardens volunteer guide. Tours are offered twice daily, (except Sundays, public holidays and mid-December to mid-January). Walks last approximately one hour. Meet at 11.00am or 1.00pm at the Rotunda opposite the Albert Street gates. As well as being botanic gardens, the gardens have many other functions. Many office workers from the nearby business district use the gardens for reading and lying on grass in lunchtimes. It is a popular venue for weddings. A wedding can be seen nearly every weekend. There is a small children’s playground but the huge open spaces are the gems of this park. If you don’t bring your own wheels, there is bike and rollerblade hire too. At the rear of the gardens is Brisbane River Stage, in which many council concerts and big band names take place, as well as the annual Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols every Christmas. There are also guided walks, self-guided walks, picnic areas and a restaurant on the grounds of the botanic gardens
The Botanic Gardens offer a range of diverse settings within its large surroundings. It was designed to gain the attraction of the Brisbane community, with the park portraying many features including many areas for people to come and relax. There are walking and biking tracks including the board walk track, these are often used by people who like to exercise or just go for a walk. There is also the well designed undercover areas for functions including the occasional garden wedding ceremony, and also the many undercover picnic areas for families to enjoy.
As the settings include a wide range of features for people to use, it would be obvious that the specific types of people that would attend these settings would include families, tourists, couples, groups of people and the individuals. As a group we were to determine whether there were any specific types of people attending the setting and whether they were gendered in a specific category and if they were also using the facilities for the purposes of what they are designed for.
When observing the specific types of people we noticed that there were mostly men present at the time, as there was a group using the space of one of the open fields to practice sport in. There were also university students from QUT using the setting to relax and tourists wandering around the grounds looking at all the attractions. After making these observations it can be seen that there is no specific type of person or group that the Botanic Gardens belongs to, as it is clear that the groups are widely genderised, and the settings have also been used in the way of how they were designed.
As Leiper says Motivation is like a force impelling people to act, attempting to satisfy a need. People are motivated to use the Botanical Gardens for a number of reasons which are the need for: Escape from perceived mundane environments Rest and relaxation Sunlight Regressive behaviour Self-evaluation Self-esteem, prestige and confidence Social interactions Spend time with relatives and friends Indulge in nostalgia Education and learn about the world
The first motivation that we observed is the need to escape from percieved mundane environments. The groups that fit into this category are the students because they were either by themselves or in groups with their laptops and books, we assumed they were studying at the gardens to get away from the mundane environment of the university classrooms, we saw singular people and families at the gardens that are also trying to escape from their normal home and work life. There were people jogging and walking assuming they want to escape from their normal routine. Tourist were seen to be on holidays to escape from their normal home environment.
The second motivation that was observed is the need from rest and relaxation. Students, singular people, families, joggers and walkers and tourists all fit into this category as we assumed they were unwinding from their fatigue, tension and stress related issues. One example being a singular man sleeping under a tree.
The next motivation that was observed is the need for sunlight. Leiper says there are hundred of millions of people who see very little sunlight in their normal routines. Everyone we saw at the Botanical Gardens would use this as a motivation.
The next motivation that was observed is the need for regressive behaviour. There were adults and children running around playing games and chasing each other. The next motivation that was observed is the need for self-evaluation. We assume joggers and walkers do this activity because they may need time to think, reflect and self evaluate. This is also ties into the need for self esteem, prestige and confidence as they maybe in need to lose weight and exercise to keep fit becoming more confident within themselves and raising their self esteem
The next motivation that was observed is the need for social interaction. This occurs with people in a group with more than one person, example being: two ladies jogging together and chatting at the same time as they are exercising their need for social interaction by doing this.
The next motivation that was observed is the need to spend time with relatives and families. The two ladies that were mentioned before fit well into this category along with numerous families we saw. We made the assumption that the elderly tourists we saw were using the need for nostalgia for motivation but its just as likely that they use the previous motivations also. We observed that tourists were in the need for education and learning about the world for the simple reason being they could learn about the different environments in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens compared to their normal environment whether they were interstate or from overseas. Construction workers and the people undergoing a photo shoot clearly are not tourists as their more than likely to be motivated for financial reasons and not tourist reasons. Leiper, N 2004, Tourism Management, 3 rd edn, Pearson Education Australia, French Forest, pp.87-110
There are many ways that the Botanic Gardens have been designed specifically for the use of patrons, since it was originally built as a zoo, the structure and facilities of the gardens were easily transferred into being able to be used as a park. A variety of activities can be carried out in the Botanic Gardens, therefore a vast range of requirements need to be met in regards to safety, usability, durability and overall comfort
As Carl mentioned earlier, a lot of activities are done in the gardens. There are many ways that the garden and its features have been designed to accommodate for participation in these activities. For example…
Lamps have been used throughout walkways in the park to ensure safety and comfort of any patrons of the gardens at night time. Lamps light up pathways and help reduce accidents in the garden. Toilets are a design feature obviously provided for the comfort of all patrons. Taps and bubblers are provided for the hydration of all patrons, for both comfort and safety. Bins are provided in the gardens, both normal waste and recycling, the placement of these bins were designed to limit the amount of litter found throughout the gardens, by having many bins spread out across the park, patrons don’t have to walk far to get to them and they are more likely to dispose of any rubbish rather than leave it on the ground. All the paths and walkways in the gardens are quite wide this is to minimize any crowding or congestion. This feature is especially useful when there is a function being held in the gardens such as a wedding or a birthday party.
Informative signs are helpful to patrons that wish to know a bit more about the Botanic Gardens, there are many different types of plants and these signs educate patrons as to what type they are. Also there are informative signs that let patrons know some facts about the park and its history, these assist in the tours given. Directional signs have been placed alongside paths throughout the garden, this is to notify patrons of the different areas of the park, the direction of facilities such as toilets and the playground also to let patrons know the quickest route through the gardens to get to streets on the other side. Tables and benches are both provided throughout the garden, they are supplied for the comfort of patrons, specifically those that wish to read, study, bird watch, sit down and just relax or just enjoy their lunch along with those attending a picnic or socializing. The gardens are fairly well maintained however trees do eventually become dangerous when they are older and at higher risk of falling on patrons. Any of these trees that are falling or that are at risk of falling over have been fenced off in an attempt to keep patrons safe and warn them of the safety risks of getting too close to that tree. Also this allows parents to make sure that their children are not playing on or around those trees.
Just recapping on Jemma’s motivations for tourism. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations explain a number of behaviours. You might have the intrinsic reason for going for a run to feel achievement, or the extrinsic, more practical value to check out the people running past. Intrinsic motivations are for your own sake; internal, emotional reasons. Extrinsic motivations come from seeking rewards outside of yourself, like social and physical benefits. Flow is a need to find the balance between anxiety and boredom. The participant will have feelings of timelessness, satisfaction and intense enjoyment. For me, it’s playing music that most does this, and for participants in the Botanic Gardens, it might have been jogging, studying or exploring. The activity does require some stimulation for ‘flow’, otherwise it’s not interesting enough, so work activities while in a leisure environment (students), counts. THREE POINTS TO WHO CAN SAY THIS GUY’S NAME.
Jim McKay in 1990 worked out that Australian patterns of leisure depended greatly on socio-economic status, however we do think that leisure is a concept for everyone regardless of gender, income or marital status. What changes is the regularity and choices of leisure activities, and so sport and leisure do not create or influence social inequalities as much as they are a product of social inequality. Men occupy public spaces more often than women, due to lack of security fears and dated “women’s place is in the home” notion. Masculinity is portrayed by rough, physically skilled leisure activities, and furthermore, metrosexuals (less aggressive males) may find the calming of parks more suited to relax, rather than play sport in. This may account for differences in the presence of solo persons in the park.
There are different types of leisure, according to sociologist Robert Stebbins. The differences between serious and casual leisure activities are down to time, commitment and intensity. This is how you can compare sports athletes in the Botanic Gardens; those with professional uniforms, vs those jogging in casual wear, and perhaps even between tourists who use guided tours and those who are happy to wander by themselves. More about the Botanic Gardens itself though, Aussies work a lot, so we need leisure spaces in our cities to cater for work pressures. Our ageing population in particular also require natural spaces to enjoy the outdoors, and feel nostalgia, which Jemma mentioned earlier. This need to take care of our natural spaces was reflected during the observation of construction work: although not a leisure activity, the presence of development in the area means positive values exist for the Botanic Gardens and its future.
In conclusion after observing leisure participants at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, we found that there were a variety of people there with a vast range of possible motivations there were a lot of casual activities taking place, these were indicative of psychological and sociological reasons.
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens Observation Study
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens Observation Study
Acknowledgement of Country• Nathan; The Yugarabul, Yuggera, Jagera and Turrbal peoples.• Brisbane City; The Jagera and Turrbal peoples.
Observational Methods• Observation Techniques (Veal, 2006) – Unstructured – Participant – Covert• Observation Methods – Checklist & photography – Key dimensions of time, activity, attitude, space – Social sciences chosen before study – psychology & sociology
The City Botanic Gardens• Brisbane’s oldest park which used to be a zoo with bears• Queensland’s first sugar cane crop• Experimental trees such as jacarandas and macadamias.• Living museum of plant collections• One of the most important non-Indigenous cultural landscapes• Natural and historic values
The City Botanic Gardens• Bike and rollerblade hire• Picnic areas and restaurant• Brisbane Riverstage• Tours twice daily (except Sundays, public holidays, mid-Dec to mid-Jan) – 11.00am or 1.00pm at the Rotunda opposite the Albert Street gates
The City Botanic Gardens• The Botanic Gardens offer a range of diverse settings.• It was designed to gain the attraction of the Brisbane community.• With the park portraying many features including• Areas, walking and biking tracks, well designed undercover areas for functions, undercover picnic areas for families to enjoy.
The City Botanic Gardens• The settings include a wide range of features for people to use.• Specific types of people that attend the setting include families, tourists, couples, the individual and groups of people.• As a group we were to determine whether there were any specific types of people attending the setting.• And if they were using the facilities for the purposes of what they are designed for.
• Mostly men present at the time• Group using the space of one of the open fields.• University students from QUT using the setting to relax• Tourists looking at all the attractions.• Once observations made clear that there is no specific type of person or group.• The setting used in the way that it has been designed.
MotivationWhat motivated people to use the Botanical Gardens for leisure activities are the need for:• Escape from perceived mundane environments• Rest and relaxation• Sunlight• Regressive behaviour• Self-evaluation• Self-esteem, prestige and confidence• Social interactions• Spend time with relatives and friends• Indulge in nostalgia• Education and learn about the world
Motivation• The need to escape from perceived mundane environments – Students – Singular people – Families – Joggers and walkers – Tourists
Motivation• The need for rest and relaxation – Students – Singular people – Families – Joggers and walkers – Tourists
Motivation• The need for sunlight – Students – Singular – Elderly tourists – Cyclists – Families – Joggers and walkers – Tourists
Motivation• The need for regressive behaviour – Families – Adults and children• The need for self-evaluation and the need for self esteem, prestige and confidence – Joggers and walkers – Singular people
Motivation• The need for social interaction – Students – Elderly tourists – Cyclists – Families – Joggers and walkers – Tourists
Motivation• The need to spend time with relatives and friends – Joggers and walkers – Families• The need to indulge in nostalgia – Elderly people• The need for education and learning about the world – Tourists
Design Features• Botanic Gardens have been designed specifically for the use of patrons• Certain requirements must be met in regards to: – Safety – Usability – Durability – Comfort of patrons
Specific Features• Lamps• Toilets• Taps and bubblers• Rubbish bins• Wide paths• Informative signs• Directional signs• Tables and benches• Fencing around old trees
Perspectives of Analysis• Psychological • Sociological – Human beings as – Human beings as individuals group members – Individual experience – Social discourses and make-up shape shape individual individual – Link between City Botanic Gardens’ place in society and relevance to lifestyles
Psychological Perspective• Motivations for tourism (Leiper, 2004) – Escape the mundane – Rest and relaxation – Sunlight and nature – Regression and nostalgia• Intrinsic/extrinsic reasoning• Flow theory (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975, 1990) – Balance between work and relaxation – Activities cannot cause too much anxiety or boredom • Study, work or playing sport in the park
Sociological Perspective• Social inequality study (McKay, 1990) – Leisure for all, but used by higher socio- economic • Botanic Gardens in city reflects this – Leisure “neither transcend nor create social inequalities but, rather, reproduce them.”• Gender differences – Safety • Only solo females were closer to QUT – Masculinity
Sociological Perspective• Serious vs. casual leisure (Stebbins, 1997) – Time, intensity and effort differences• Increased need for nearby natural leisure spaces – Working more hours – Ageing population – Need to keep citizens active
In Closing• The Botanic Gardens is a popular and excellent leisure environment• Variety of people participating in leisure at the Botanic Gardens• Vast motivations and behaviours• Indicative of both psychological and sociological reasons.