Main Article Content
Urban green parks perform a remarkable role for the physical, social and psychological wellbeing of the urban public by providing space for relaxation and recreation, directly influencing public health through mitigation of the urban heat impact, noise reduction and moderation of air and water pollution. An indicator-based approach on analytical hierarchical processing was used to identify and assess the driving forces for the utilization of urban green parks and their accessibility. Eight indicators: location, topography and geography, facility and services, safety and security, social and culture, ecology, demography, and weather and climate (further divided into 50 factors) were used in the study. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey in which 887 regular park users participated. A standardized study design was implemented to study and assess four urban green parks in the Colombo metropolitan district, Sri Lanka. The study identified park facilities and services as well as safety and security measures maintained by the park as the key factors of appeal, while location, ecology, topography and geography, including weather and climate, had a lower relative influence when selecting a park for recreation. Social, cultural and demographic factors appeared to be of the least interest. The study recommends park managers to assess their parks using this model to enhance the characteristics found to be the most important. It further suggests developing models also for other park types by considering which factors would have the highest relative influence in providing a better service for the regular park user.