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management and infrastructure development (Roovers et al. 2002). This group of factors in our methodology design is included in the domain Recreation (Water sources, Objects of interest, and Development level). The Ivonin and Samsonov method (2011) addresses an extraordinarily wide range of issues for assessing the recreational potential of forests. It is not designed for urban forests, but is intended for national parks and natural reserves. Ivonin and Samsonov (2011) takes environmental factors into account– climate, soil, water bodies, and weather comfort.
The new method uses the analytical data obtained from the field survey. Rysin et al. (2015b) used data from forest planning, satellite imagery and Open Street Maps to assess the recreational potential of quite large areas. A similar data approach was used by Bertini et al. (2016) for assessing the urban greenery and environmental quality of life in São Carlos, Brazil. Their primary data sources were satellite imagery and topographic maps. The combination of high-resolution WorldView-2 multi-spectral satellite imagery and airborne laser scanning (LiDAR) data tested for classification of different tree species was also technically demanding (Verlic et al. 2014).
The presented methodical approach unifies and resolves the possibility of a uniform assessment of the recreational potential of urban forests. The selected indicators are easily identifiable, measurable and generally usable. Thus, the simplicity of the methodological approach for assessing the recreational potential of urban forests allows the method to be used by a wide range of users. The most promising is its use for administrative workers of city management to be able to use green areas of the city. The method can be used by scientists, environmentalists and students of environmental faculties to analyse the dynamics of changes in the forest environment under the influence of anthropogenic pressures. In addition, indicators included in the evaluating system are probably useable for targeted management of urban forests (Miller 1997) for monitoring of forest stand and future planning of economic activities.
The technique gives a clear understanding of the biological state of the urban forest, and the possibility of using it for recreational purposes. In cases of low scores, an analysis of each individual indicator will make it possible to understand the reason for its low level. Then the necessary economic measures to increase the recreational potential of the territory can be determined. As mentioned above the degraded area in the park has increased significantly by whole network of track appeared. In this case we would suggest limited guests to main roads and carry out activities to restore the soil and cover. All used indicators are probably comprehensible for common users. According to the case study (Figures 1–3), it seems that all used indicators are reliable.
The method described above in comparison with previous studies (Rysin 2003; Lepeshkin 2007; Rysin et al. 2015a, 2015b) in these fields has six advantages:
– it contains a small amount of indicators required for forest assessment;
– to understand the essence of the indicator, you do not need to be a specialist in environmental science;
– an assessment of the forest can be carried out by one person not just a group;
– the process of work you do not need special tools and devices;
– the evaluation process is quick, as most indicators are visual;
– the calculation of results is simple and does not require deep mathematical knowledge.