Stakeholders’ Valuation of Davao City Parks: A Study on Determining Public Value
Effective design of urban green spaces such as public parks can impact the communities' physical health and mental well-being. Identifying stakeholders' perceptions toward public parks is important to guide the development of existing and new parks, and increase the public’s sense of ownership towards them. This study aims to understand how the public values three (3) urban parks in Davao City (People’s Park, Magsaysay Park, and Osmeña Park) and document the perceived benefits and impacts that matter to the park users. Data gathered include activity maps made through direct observation and personal interviews of five (5) park users, three (3) administrators, and one (1) vendor from December 2019 to April 2020. An analysis of review entries (2018–2020) from two travel websites was also conducted to determine visitor experience. Thematic techniques were used to develop a grounded theory of the public value of parks as experienced by the stakeholders. Results showed that end-users value the freedom to access parks as an escape from the stress of the urban environment through nature and physical exercise. Emphasis on regulations and security inside the parks is also evident in the texts. Access-control infrastructure, activity-enabling modifications of the natural landscape, and overall park beautification through artworks result in a family-friendly environment, which promotes the city’s culture and sensibilities.
Keywords: urban planning · urban parks · public value · thematic analysis · grounded theory · Davao City
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