Barriers and enablers of greenspace use by women
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The aim of this thesis is to identify the barriers and enablers of use by women at the greenspace Máximapark in Vleuten, Utrecht. Greenspace has many proven benefits, and women in particular experience a positive effect from greenspace (Roe et al., 2013). Despite this outcome, women are more likely to avoid greenspaces because of the barriers for use that they might experience compared with men (Loukaitou-Sideris & Sideris, 2010; Madge, 1997; Roe et al., 2013; Ward Thompson, Aspinall, Bell, & Findlay, 2005; Wendel, Zarger, & Mihelcic, 2012). As a result, this thesis attempts to answer the following question: What are the determinants (barriers and enablers) of use by women at the greenspace Máximapark in Vleuten, Utrecht? To answer this research question, a qualitative methodology was adopted. Using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology (Skype and WhatsApp video chat), 15 women living near Máximapark were interviewed. Six barriers were identified: crowding, antisocial behaviour, feelings of unsafety, colder seasons and monotonous appearance. Moreover, nine enablers were identified: activities, use of the park as a pass-through, warmer seasons, design of the park, natural environment, maintenance, buffer for stress, individual circumstances and opportunity for social interaction. These results provide insight into the determinants of use by women, which can be translated into four recommendations. First, it is recommended that Máximapark facilitate street lighting during the first several hours of the evening during the colder seasons. Second, antisocial behaviour of racing cyclist might be reduced by installing a sign with a code of conduct. Third, antisocial behaviour of loitering youth might be reduced by providing more recreational activities for young people in the adjacent neighbourhoods. Fourth, it is recommended to offer spots for takeaway.