Eliciting users’ preferences and values in urban parks: Evidence from analyzing social media data from Hong Kong

Calvin Wan, Geoffrey Qiping Shen, Stella Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Users’ preferences and values in urban parks is important information for establishing social marketing strategies and therefore policymakers to consider. This study investigates the issue by analyzing social media data. User-generated data were collected from Instagram and content analysis was employed to identify physical features and values people assigned to urban parks from text descriptions of Instagram posts. Findings revealed that natural features are more frequently mentioned than non-natural elements. Aesthetic quality, feeling of happiness, and restorative experience are the most frequently mentioned expressions among the six categories of identified values. Significant association rules are established between physical features and values. Natural elements such as lawns, water features, wildlife and plants are more likely to be associated with happiness and restorative experience than aesthetic value. Artificial elements, flowers, and public art stimulate aesthetic quality. Implications for planning urban green environments are discussed. Social media platforms offer a novel entry point to uncover and monitor public interests and perceptions of specific venues such as recreational settings. Social media data provide actionable insights for promotional campaigns and inform decision-making pertaining to individuals and collective well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127172
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Preferences
  • Social marketing
  • Social media
  • Urban Park
  • Values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


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