Expanding the toolbox: Assessing methods for local outdoor recreation planning

Franziska Komossa* (Corresponding Author), Flurina M. Wartmann, Peter H. Verburg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Growing demand for outdoor recreation puts pressure on highly-frequented peri-urban areas. In the Netherlands, a more equal distribution of recreationists has been proposed by the Dutch government to relieve pressure on overcrowded recreation hotspots. Devising landscape planning strategies that redirect recreation flows requires reliable data on areas that people currently use and what areas would also be suitable for recreation. Such data may not be available for local planners. The objective of this study was therefore to analyse how different data gathering methods can support local recreation planning. For an empirical case study in the Netherlands, we compare data on current and potential use of landscapes for outdoor recreation through participatory mapping, free listing, quantitative photo ranking, and analysis of social media data. Based on maps produced from these different data we interviewed local planners to assess how applicable and relevant the different methods are for planning practice. Local planners indicated they had limited knowledge of and access to scientific methods and insights. Their assessment of different methods suggests that some methods are not yet applied for local planning, such as free listing or participatory mapping. These methods have potential to be used for evidence-based planning, because they require few resources to be implemented. Planners also indicated that using social media data would be interesting, but that the skills required to collect and analyse data are typically not currently in place. Our results show the potential and challenges for research methods to be integrated into local planning practice to distribute recreation flows more effectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104105
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Early online date16 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Evidence-based recreation planning
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Peri-urban landscapesparticipatory mapping
  • Landscape preferences
  • Analysis of social media data


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