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  • Author or Editor: Nagayamma Tavares Aragão x
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Abstract

Public parks are important elements of the green infrastructure. They provide places for people to experience nature and engage in physical activities, which are key in increasing public health and well-being. There are new factors limiting the usability of parks, provoking changes in the usage patterns. The Covid-19 pandemic and the introduction of restrictions on the use of the city significantly reduced many forms of physical activities, and a stay-at-home obligation is negatively associated with an increase of sedentary lifestyles. At the same time, the demand for greenery has intensified, highlighting the increasing role and benefits provided by green spaces in times of emergency, such as the pandemic. To better understand the contemporary values of parks, this chapter discusses the usage of public parks before (2019) and during the Covid-19 pandemic (2020–2021). The research includes the analysis in three urban parks located in different European countries: Pole Mokotowskie Park in Warsaw (Poland), Quinta das Conchas in Lisbon (Portugal) and Parco della Pace in Senigallia (Italy). These parks have different sizes and equipment, but are all very popular recreational places for the residents. The main activities performed by users in both the pre-pandemic and pandemic period were identified based on the field observation methods, which included a list of performed activities. The research conducted during the site visits was completed with information from media and government communications, including the context of country-specific restrictions. Changes in users’ activities were analysed for each park, and then compared to identify similarities and differences. Particular attention was paid to activities that were abandoned, limited or eliminated from the park programme, as well as those that became more popular. The results show that the role of public parks in providing recreation and improving health and well-being are still appreciated and valued, while at the same time their use and preferred equipment have been adapted to sanitary restrictions.

Open Access
In: Placemaking in Practice Volume 1