Publication date: Jul 08, 2023
Sweeping changes in park visitation have accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic. In countries where governments imposed strict lockdowns during the first wave, park visitation declined in cities. The benefits of visiting urban green spaces on people’s mental and physical health and well-being are generally acknowledged; many people in confinement during lockdowns reported increasing mental health issues. Therefore, based on lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic’s first wave, urban parks and other urban green spaces remained open in most countries in subsequent pandemic phases. Furthermore, many studies have reported an overall increase in park visitation after strict lockdowns imposed in the pandemic’s first wave have been removed. This study aims to investigate park visitation trends in Hungary based on a dataset of 28 million location data points from approximately 666,000 distinct mobile devices collected in 1884 urban parks and other urban green spaces in 191 settlements between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2021. Findings demonstrate that park visitation increased in the inter-wave period of 2020, compared to the pre-pandemic period of 2019, and decreased in Waves 2-3 of 2021, compared to Wave 1 of 2020.
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