Perceptions and attitudes towards urban green spaces: a case study of Kampala Metropolitan Area
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The quality of a city’s environment is manifested by its urban green spaces, which reflect in many ways, the quality of life and societal behavior found in it. This is because urban green spaces are important resources whose benefits to residents include among others carbon storage, and facilitation of human physical and mental well-being. Despite the above benefits, urban green decreasing at alarming rates as a result of rapid urbanization. The study examines the perceptions and attitudes of urban residents in Kampala, Uganda, towards the decline of urban green spaces. A survey of 147 respondents revealed that 76.2% of respondents did notice a decrease in green spaces in recent years, with no significant difference in response rates among different city divisions. A strong correlation was found between the frequency of visits to urban green spaces and the ability to perceive their decrease. Residents who acknowledged the decrease in green spaces highlighted limited access to nature and greenery as the most significant impact, followed by decreased opportunities for outdoor activities (27.2%). A cross-tabulation analysis indicated a strong negative impact on the physical health of respondents across different age groups. Reasons for visiting urban green spaces were relaxation and stress relief (49.7%), followed by physical exercise and outdoor activities, while bird watching was the least popular reason (2.0%). In responce to willingness, 86.5% of respondents expressed willingness to participate in activities aimed at protecting and restoring urban green spaces, with females (89%) and the 18-24 age group (86.1%) showing higher interest in actively engaging in these initiatives. Of those willing to participate 75.4% were open to contributing financially to the protection, restoration, and management of urban green spaces, with younger respondents more inclined to support financially. In conclusion, the study reveals a complex relationship between urban residents and green spaces in Kampala, with many highlighting the importance of access to nature and outdoor activities.