How do travel distance and park size influence urban park visits?

Xingyue Tu, Ganlin Huang, Jianguo Wu, Xuan Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Urban parks are of great importance for residents’ health and well-being. As two main factors influencing park visits, distance to parks and park size have been studied and adopted in practice such as park planning and guidelines. This study aims to examine how travel distance and park size associated with park visits and how these effects may vary across different types of park visits in Beijing, China. We conducted a city-wide survey in 78 neighborhoods, and interviewed 7362 residents on their park visit behaviors. Constraint line analysis, Pearson correlation analysis, and significant differences analysis were employed. We found that travel distance had an exponential limiting effect on park visits. The maximum park visits dropped exponentially as the travel distance to parks increased. No such effect was observed for park size. Visitors to nearby, medium-distance, and distant parks varied significantly in terms of park visit frequency, travel mode, time spent in parks, and activity. Their destination parks also differed in size, vegetation cover and whether water body is present. Furthermore, we identified four cut-off points (1, 2, 5, and 10 km) based on the constraint line functions as the accessible and maximum travel distance regarding different travel modes and visit frequencies of park visits. Our findings provided empirical evidence on the association among travel distance, park size and visits, which have important implications for future park studies and planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126689
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Green space
  • Park accessibility
  • Park use
  • Public open space
  • Recreation
  • Service catchment area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


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