Hello, I am Saskia Chote and I graduated in November 2023 with an MSc in Sustainable Management of Natural Resources from the Anton de Kom University of Suriname.
During my MSc. research, I conducted research into the perceptions, use and management of urban green spaces in Paramaribo in collaboration with Tropenbos Suriname and the University of Twente. The perceived ecosystem services provided by these green spaces have also been identified.
This research was carried out in three urban green spaces in Paramaribo: the Cultuurtuin, the Palmentuin and Wakapasi and the Prof. Mr. Dr. Coen Ooftplein. It was also carried out among residents in Paramaribo, through online questionnaires and live interviews.
The results show that perceptions about urban green spaces are given by describing them (54%), by citing examples of green spaces (41%) or by emphasizing benefits provided by these spaces (5% ). The five characteristics that are most desirable in a green space are: the presence of sufficient nature, cleanliness and maintenance, a quiet environment, the presence of various plant species and the presence of facilities. Urban green spaces are important or very important for the quality of life for almost all respondents (98%).
The most common activities are: enjoying nature, recreation and relaxation, children playing or taking a walk in the park.
The choice to visit a particular green space is based on: people's expectations, accessibility, the distance to the space, the tranquility and greenness of the area and the presence or absence of other parks in the residential area.
The main forms of nuisance experienced in all three spaces are: the presence of junkies or homeless people, litter, vandalism, noise pollution and insecurity.
Significant connections were found between gender and safety aspects, between the age group from 20 to 39 years and the exercise activities, between time spent and safety and between distance and the number of visitors.
The ecosystem services that respondents experience most in green spaces are: cooling of the environment, peaceful living environment, recreation and ecotourism, regulation of air quality, beautification of the environment, carbon dioxide storage and cultural-historical value. With regard to maintenance of the various spaces, respondents are most satisfied with the maintenance of the Coen Ooftplein and the Wakapasi and the least satisfied with the maintenance of the Cuktuurtuin, the Palmentuin and the living environment in Paramaribo.
The main bottlenecks in maintenance are: lack of finance, manpower and equipment.
The results of this research can very well be used by the managing authorities to improve the green spaces in Suriname and thus attract more users and offer different experiences to the various target groups.