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Contrasting collective preferences for outdoor recreation and substitutability of nature areas using hot spot mapping

journal contribution
posted on 17.07.2018, 00:00 by Jeremy De ValckJeremy De Valck, S Broekx, I Liekens, L De Nocker, J Van Orshoven, L Vranken
This paper investigates one specific cultural ecosystem service: outdoor recreation. We present a method to map the collective preferences for outdoor recreation and to identify the substitutability among nature sites in the context of the province of Antwerp, Belgium. We propose an indicator of substitutability among nature areas, contrasting unique but poorly substitutable sites (hot spots) with highly substitutable sites (cold spots). Using a combination of survey information, public participation GIS (PPGIS) and kernel density mapping, we produce density surfaces representing the distribution of the collective preferences for outdoor recreation and identify the spatial characteristics of the market (e.g. extent, discontinuities) for outdoor recreation. We also compute Getis-Ord Gi* spatial statistics to identify local outdoor recreation clusters. In addition, we explore how recreational behaviour affects substitutability. Our results suggest a duality between the social value of outdoor recreation and the level of substitutability among nature sites. Highly substitutable sites tend to be found near areas of higher population density, which are as well highly visited sites. The type of recreational activity – hiking, cycling, dog walking or jogging – appears to substantially modify substitutability patterns among nature sites. We conclude by discussing the methodological implications of this research in the context of stated preference ecosystem service valuation and stress several policy-related implications.




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Elsevier BV

Peer Reviewed


Open Access


External Author Affiliations

Flemish Institute for Technological Research VITO; KU Leuven, Division of Forest, Nature & Landscape, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences; KU Leuven, Division of Bioeconomics, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Era Eligible



Landscape and Urban Planning