UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The role of aesthetic quality in the preference and use of green open spaces : a case study on Grandview and Victoria parks in Vancouver, Canada Yusufzyanova, Dinara N.


There is an increasing amount of research exploring the benefits of green open spaces for health, well-being and overall sustainability and quality of human habitat. Exploring the factors that affect this direct engagement with natural objects in the urban context can help in many design and planning decisions. This research focused on exploring whether the visual aesthetic quality of park scenery/scenic beauty is positively correlated with park preference, and whether potential interest in visiting a park space may be informed by its perceived aesthetic quality. In addition, this research aimed to determine whether there is a correlation between the aesthetic beauty of scenery and perceptual constructs (such as complexity, spaciousness and mystery) that predict preference for landscapes. An online survey in the form of a questionnaire using photos of park spaces was implemented. Two parks in the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC were used as case study sites. A total of 36 respondents rated park photos on a ten-item Likert scale. The research results showed that scenic beauty and complexity are discriminating factors in park preference. Parks were perceived differently for scenic beauty, complexity and spaciousness, but not mystery. Scenic beauty is correlated with complexity and spaciousness but is not correlated with mystery. Findings from open-ended questions at the end of the survey reveal that beauty and naturalness are the factors in landscape preference.

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