Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Urban and Public Affairs
Urban and Public Affairs, PhD
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Ruther, Matthew H.
Public space; green space; physical well-being; mental well-being; social well-being; Louisville
Urban green spaces have been receiving attention in urban planning and the health profession in the 21st century as environmental elements that contribute to well-being. This dissertation explored the relationship between green space usage and individuals’ physical, mental, and social well-being. This empirical research focused on Central Park in Old Louisville to examine how residents use the park and whether it contributes to the well-being of residents. After exploring the existing literature, I identified four well-being indices: (1) perceived health (PHI), (2) health outcome (HOI), (3) mental well-being (MWI), and (4) social well-being (SWI). Frequent Park usage is expected to positively impact these measures. The survey questionnaires were distributed to all residential units (single and multi-family houses, apartments, and senior housing) in the study area. This survey collected information regarding individuals’ park usage patterns, activities, physical, mental, and social well-being status, and socioeconomic characteristics. The multi-linear regression results showed that frequent park usage has positive but insignificant, impacts on participants’ physical, mental, and social well-being. Implementing interaction terms to assess the impact of frequent park usage on well-being measures, did not improve the results, either. However, using Central Park for socializing and attending social events contributes significantly to individuals’ social well-being. The log-linear regression models revealed consistent positive impacts of frequent park usage for social events on residents’ social well-being. Further, one of the log-linear models (Model 3) also uncovered positive and significant (at the 5% significant level) impacts on the health outcome index. The results of both models suggest that gender, age, and income played statistically significant roles in promoting respondents’ general health, health outcomes, mental and social well-being.
Entezam, Maryam, "Public space and well-being: an empirical study of Central Park in Old Louisville." (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 4132.