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Peri-Urban National Parks as Green Spaces for Recreation: A Case Study of Nature Park Shumen Plateau

Peri-Urban National Parks as Green Spaces for Recreation: A Case Study of Nature Park Shumen Plateau
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Author(s): Teodora Koynova (Konstantin Preslavski University of Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria), Vanya Koleva (Konstantin Preslavski University of Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria), Asya P. Dragoeva (Faculty of Natural Sciences, Konstantin Preslavski University of Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria) and Nikolay Natchev (Konstantin Preslavski University of Shumen, Shumen, Bulgaria)
Copyright: 2019
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Pages: 13
Source title: International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development (IJSESD)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Elias G. Carayannis (George Washington University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSESD.2019010104

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Abstract

Little is known regarding the significance for local people of peri-urban national parks as recreational areas. The main goal of the present article is to evaluate the social impact and importance of peri-urban parks for visitors as a green space for outdoor recreation. For this investigation on-site, face-to-face interviews were conducted. The main reason for visiting NP are: “to be near to nature” (64.71%), “to practice sport” (58.09%) and “relaxing” (43.38%). Spending time in NP is considered by most interviewed people to be of crucial importance both for physical (96.32%) and for mental (83.82%) health. It should be noted that high frequency of park visits was reported only by young, employed and well-educated people. Data collected shows that park management plan should encourage low-income groups (unemployed and elderly) to use outdoor recreation as a part of preventive healthcare. The access for older adults, people with disabilities and children to the park should be facilitated. Services like access to clean water, toilets and seating places must be improved. The data from the authors' survey could be useful for the peri-urban national parks development as green spaces for promoting health among all demographic groups of local inhabitants.

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