Park users’ characteristics that influence utilization of urban parks in Kisumu County, Kenya
Ochengo, Judith Mong’ina
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The aim of the study was to find out how the park users‟ characteristics influence the utilization of the parks and the relationship between the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the park users and their satisfaction with different park attributes in Kisumu City. The study adopted the descriptive research design. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in the study. Multi-stage sampling was used. In the first stage, purposive sampling was applied to select three parks depending on their sizes and location. In the second stage simple random sampling was used to select the park users and purposive sampling was adopted to select the key informants. Data was collected using questionnaires, observation checklists and interview guides. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics: frequencies, percentages and cross tabulation and chi-square. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to indicate the relationship between park users‟ demographic and socio-economic characteristics and their satisfaction with different park attributes. Variations in the relationships were analyzed using Analyses of Variance at statistical significance level of 0.05. The results of the study indicated that the age category 18-35 years dominated in the use of the parks at 73%, males were more in the parks accounting for 54% while the married people visited the parks most accounting for 53% of the participants. Those with education level of up to diploma level visited the parks most accounting for 40% while those with the income level of less than Ksh.5,000 per month were most likely to visit the parks accounting for 35%. In terms of occupation, business persons were most represented in the use of the parks in Kisumu. The findings showed that the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of park users determined their satisfaction with the park attributes of location, safety, aesthetic and washrooms condition with the overall model explaining 14.4, 13.9, 12.6 and 13.2 percentage of variance respectively, which was revealed to be statistically significant at F (6,113) = 3.163, p < .05., F (6,113) = 3.032, p < .05., F (6,113) = 2.709, p < .05 and F (6,113) = 2.865, p < .05 respectively. The findings on the activities undertaken in the parks revealed that most people visited the parks to relax followed by those who came to socialize. The findings of the study will be useful in the planning of public parks in the County of Kisumu. The study recommends that for the needs of the users to be met in the parks and increase the satisfaction levels, there should be provision of requisite facilities like seats, washroom, shades and enhanced security within the parks .The study also recommends that the Kisumu City Planning Department should increase allocation of funds for the maintenance of the parks.