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ŠUMARSKI LIST 9-10/2016 str. 73     <-- 73 -->        PDF

indicates the respondents’dissatisfaction with the group use of the seating capacity (Table 3). In addition to questions with pre-determined or mixed answers, the respondents were given the opportunity to highlight what they like most about the park when giving open answers to the questions in the survey and state what they do not like. Most respondents (72%) indicate that they like the park because of its: existing facilities (playgrounds, sports facilities, exercise equipment, jogging tracks, the water fountain, etc.), diversity of facilities and spatial design of the park. When answering the question of what they like most about the park 32% of the respondents stated the number of visitors to the park, i.e. the presence of other people or socializing with other users of the park. 23% of the respondents in the park emphasize the fact that the park is not cleaned or maintained regularly. The respondents believe that the park lacks in the presence of municipal police, i.e. an organized, clearly identifiable service, dealing with the management and maintenance of the park. In response to the question of what they do not like about the park, there is evident dissatisfaction of the respondents caused by the inappropriate use of the park by certain categories of park users: irresponsible pet owners and teenagers who in the evenings damage children’s playing props and other equipment. The park fully meets the needs of 24% of the respondents.
Following the examination of the results and comparative analysis of the users’ views based on the completed questionnaires the following conclusions can be drawn:
– As open areas and parts of green areas in urban environments, urban parks present structural elements of cities which provide natural conditions and therefore play an important role in improving the elements of free time as an important contributing factor to the quality of life of modern man. How to use parks is directly related to the development of living standards, the busy lifestyle and the needs of urban population.
– The location and accessibility of city parks are extremely important, which is confirmed by the respondents’ satisfaction with the proximity of public transport stops and the possibility of reaching the park on foot. The interconnection of spatial units in the park with trails is also significant as well as the possibility of moving along the tracks in the desired direction which gives the visitors a sense of security thus increasing the utilization potential of the park.
– Based on the attitudes of the respondents about the diversity of facilities and the equipment installed for different types of activities, it was found that there is a lack of facilities for teenagers and older people, sports fields, playgrounds, facilities for renting bicycles and roller skates, fencing around the park, outdoor faucets and water fountains, tables and benches in the shade. The study of different types of activities and the users’ needs revealed certain conflicts due to failures in meeting the users’ needs and different ways of using this space.
– The total average score for the amenity of the area is (4.06) which is rated as very good. However, the lowest score (3.27) was given by the respondents answering the question of whether there is a sufficient number of benches in the shade within the park area.
– In order to agree that an urban park is of high quality, it is necessary to determine to what extent this park provides the opportunity for sociality for which it was designed. In Tašmajdan park it was found that 77% of the participants always come to the park with friends while half of the respondents (51%) sometimes talk to other park users. The results confirm that the quality of urban parks is significantly affected by the management and maintenance. It is therefore necessary to introduce clearly identifiable services to deal with the management and maintenance of the park.
The results obtained are consistent with modern theoretical studies according to which recreational activities provide opportunities for socializing and behavior characterized by spontaneity and openness which contributes to the quality of life of modern man. Namely, the respondents score (3.22) regarding the possibilities of using the parks for sitting and chatting to other people, the established percentage of the respondents (37%) who come to the park to socialize; 73% of the respondents who spend 1-3 hours in the park and 32% of those who report that the frequency of users is what they like most about the park i.e. the presence of other people as well as socializing with other users, all confirm the importance of interdisciplinary research to improve the quality of everyday life.
The research results show that the four tested criteria: accessibility; suitability for different types of activities; amenity and sociability are very important for assessing the utilization potential of a park. The obtained results are important for establishing the principles and recommendations that can be implemented in the process of landscape design, aimed at improving the quality of parks to meet the needs of users for certain types of activities and enable the adequate use of parks.
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