Characterizing outdoor recreation user groups: a typology of peri-urban recreationists in the Kromme Rijn area, the Netherlands

F. Komossa, Emma H. van der Zanden , P.H. Verburg

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Increasing urbanization accompanied by a growing demand for recreational use of peri-urban green spaces is likely to cause land-use conflicts. The nature of these conflicts is subject to the heterogeneous preferences of outdoor recreationists. Although the importance of diversifying between recreational user groups has been acknowledged in the literature, most studies - and especially studies on landscape preferences - focus on specific user groups and are not operationalized for creating a recreationist typology. This study presents a typology on case-study level accounting for variations in landscape preferences, visitation behavior, and socio-demographic information. The typology is based on data originating from a structured questionnaire with a total of 200 respondents. It is constructed by employing two commonly used data-driven methods for typology development: PCA of preferences for landscape characteristics and cluster analysis of all data (landscape preferences, visitation behavior and socio-economic variables) to derive alternative typologies. Comparing the results of both types of analysis leads to a consistent picture of the main differences between three distinct outdoor recreation user groups which we refer to as ‘the convenience recreationist’, ‘the day tripper’ and ‘the culture/nature recreationist’. The first user group prefers convenient, short-term recreation, close to home. The second group is characterized by clear preferences for one-day recreational activities and destinations, while the last group is mainly defined by its strong interest in culture and nature. Our study identified large variations in outdoor recreation preferences and recreation needs between these three user groups. Understanding the heterogeneity of recreation preferences can help to articulate effective landscape management strategies, targeted to ensure the multi-functional character of peri-urban landscapes for different types of users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-258
Number of pages13
JournalLand Use Policy
Early online date15 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cultural Ecosystem Services
  • Landscape Preferences
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Typology


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