Parks are increasingly understood to be key community resources for public health, particularly for ethnic minority and low socioeconomic groups. At the same time, research suggests parks are underutilised by these groups. In order to design effective interventions to promote health, the determinants of park use for these groups must be understood.This study examines the associations between park features, park satisfaction and park use in a deprived and ethnically diverse sample in Bradford, UK. 652 women from the Born in Bradford cohort completed a survey on park satisfaction and park use. Using a standardised direct observation tool, 44 parks in the area were audited for present park features. Features assessed were: access, recreational facilities, amenities, natural features, significant natural features, non-natural features, incivilities and usability. Size and proximity to the park were also calculated. Multilevel linear regressions were performed to understand associations between park features and (1) park satisfaction and (2) park use. Interactions between park features, ethnicity and socioeconomic status were explored, and park satisfaction was tested as a mediator in the relationship between park features and park use.More amenities and greater usability were associated with increased park satisfaction, while more incivilities were negatively related to park satisfaction. Incivilities, access and proximity were also negatively associated with park use. Ethnicity and socioeconomic status had no moderating role, and there was no evidence for park satisfaction as a mediator between park features and park use.Results suggest diverse park features are associated with park satisfaction and park use, but this did not vary by ethnicity or socioeconomic status. The reduction of incivilities should be prioritised where the aim is to encourage park satisfaction and park use.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126485
Number of pages9
JournalUrban Forestry & Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Green space
  • Park use
  • Park satisfaction
  • Park features
  • Multilevel modelling
  • Ethnic minorities


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