Objective The growing demand for meticulous green space allocation has made the intensive utilization of urban community parks an imperative nowadays. Nonetheless, prevailing community park planning tends to be expansive and lacks the adept integration of efficiency nuances arising from diverse usage behaviors. The classification of recreational patterns within community parks, coupled with an exploration of their correlation with spatial features, presents substantial potential for precisely steering the augmentation of recreational efficiency in community parks
Methods This research conducts a comprehensive investigation encompassing 110 community parks in Shanghai. Leveraging location based service (LBS) data, the research identifies patterns of recreational activities within community parks across distinct time periods. Employing spectral clustering based on visit frequency, peak counts, and peak time periods, the research amalgamates data from diverse sources, including built environment data and urban transportation data. The primary objective is to extract three pivotal feature categories: regional functionality, transportation accessibility, and green space features. These features undergo meticulous scrutiny for their correlation with recreational visit efficiency. Regional functional features encompass parameters such as proportion of industrial land, public management and service land, residential land, transportation land, and commercial land, and the functional mix of parkland. Transportation accessibility features comprise metrics such as green space accessibility, bus stop density, and road network density. Green space features include park area, green coverage, hard surface ratio, and water area proportion. The synthesis of these features provides a nuanced understanding of the factors influencing recreational visit efficiency in community parks.
Results The recreational activity patterns in community parks are successfully categorized into single-peak and multi-peak types, including morning, noon, and evening peak activity types, as well as morning and evening, noon and afternoon, and noon and evening peak activity types. These patterns exhibit a direct association with the surrounding land use functions. In the analysis of spatial features influencing recreational visit efficiency in community parks, the research finds a strong correlation of recreational visit efficiency with the overall percentage of commercial land, bus stop density, and road density. Additionally, different recreational activity types show significant correlations with the proportion of public management land, green space accessibility, park area, and hard surface ratio. For instance, the recreational visit frequency of morning peak activity types is correlated with the mix of functions around the park, while the recreational visit frequency of noon peak activity types is related to green space accessibility, park area, and hard surface ratio. The recreational visit frequency of evening peak activity types is correlated with the mix of functions around the park and road network density. The recreational visit frequency of morning and evening peak activity types is more related to the proportion of public management and service land, green space accessibility, bus stop density, and park area. The recreational visit frequency of noon and afternoon peak activity types is more related to the proportion of commercial land and bus stop density. The recreational visit frequency of noon and evening peak activity types is correlated with green space accessibility and hard surface ratio.
Conclusion To enhance recreational visit efficiency, it is crucial to consider different indicators based on recreational patterns. For community parks with morning and evening peak activities, strategies such as strengthening surrounding public management and service functions, optimizing transportation accessibility and bus stop density, and refining park area are recommended. Conversely, for community parks with evening peak activities, placing more emphasis on green space accessibility and the area of hard activity surfaces may be more suitable. The research further reveals that surrounding functionality plays a key role in determining people’s behavioral tendencies, with commercial functionality significantly influencing overall efficiency and providing daily recreational activities for surrounding residents. The enhancement of functional diversity has a greater impact on morning and evening peak activity types. Moreover, adequate bus station facilities, a sparse road network, and high accessibility are considered factors that promote the use of green space parks. The layout of a small road network is crucial for the accessibility of evening active walking. In terms of planning and design, it is recommended to consider the rational layout of surrounding road networks to facilitate walking and reduce dependence on transportation. This is especially important during the evening peak and noon to evening peak periods when people typically prefer walking. Providing convenient walking paths and facilities can alleviate traffic congestion and improve travel efficiency. Additionally, it is suggested to fully consider supporting services such as surrounding bus stations, especially in communities with early evening commuting peaks and afternoon recreation needs. The research also indicates that larger park area may contribute to the increased visit efficiency of green spaces during noon and evening peak activity types. Therefore, in areas with busy midday and evening pedestrian traffic, providing sufficient space is essential. The research further provides directions for precisely improving recreational visit efficiency in community parks, such as offering ample children’s games and health and fitness facilities for midday and evening peak activity types, which are crucial for improving the usage paths of such activity types. These findings offer a new perspective for researching the temporal and spatial behaviors of urban community green spaces, thus providing insights for the precise enhancement of community green space services.