A study of use patterns, user satisfaction and willingness to pay for off-leash dog parks: post-occupancy evaluations of four dog parks in Texas and Florida

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Title: A study of use patterns, user satisfaction and willingness to pay for off-leash dog parks: post-occupancy evaluations of four dog parks in Texas and Florida
Author: Lee, Hyung-Sook
Abstract: The growing importance of dogs in people ?s lives and in high -density urban environments has increased demand for a place where people and their dogs can interact and exercise together . The recent increase in the number of dog parks across the country is evidence of these demands of dog owners and their companions . However , due to the absence of empirical study on dog parks and their attribute of non -market values , the benefits of dog parks are often underestimated and considered less in the decision making process regarding resource allocation . A post -occupancy evaluation at four dog parks was conducted to investigate use patterns of dog parks and user activities , to identify user preferences and the environmental factors influencing activities , to provide insights and guidelines in developing effective dog parks , and to estimate users ? willingness to pay for dog parks using contingent valuation method . A multiple -method approach was used to collect data including site observations and analysis , a questionnaire and behavioral mapping . The results indicated that dog parks received considerable use , served a variety of demographic groups and supported their exercise and social activities . Dog -park users were generally satisfied with dog parks but they expressed various preferences and needs . It is evident that dog parks are not only a place for dogs to exercise but a place for people to exercise , socialize , relax and enjoy greenery just like other parks . Proximity of dog parks was found to be a critical factor in encouraging frequent dog park use and satisfying users ? needs . Over eighty percent of survey respondents expressed that they were willing to pay an annual fee for dog parks , indicating the importance of visiting dog parks as outdoor recreation . Conservative estimate of average willingness to pay was $56 .17 / household / year . Satisfaction with maintenance and facilities , income , education and family size were found to be significantly associated with willingness to pay . These results could assist local governments and park planners in estimating aggregate monetary value of the dog parks and cost -benefit analysis to justify the development and maintenance of dog parks . Design guidelines and recommendations were generated based on the empirical findings for future design of dog parks .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1632
Date: 2009-05-15

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A study of use patterns, user satisfaction and willingness to pay for off-leash dog parks: post-occupancy evaluations of four dog parks in Texas and Florida. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1632 .

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