Recreation areas for adults

Even in 1969, social geographers in Germany (Ruppert and Schaffer 1969) believed that easily accessible recreational areas close to a town were more important than the outdoor recreation during a year’s holiday (Fliedner 1993). The suitability of open spaces and landscapes for recreation has since been analysed in many studies (e. g. Nohl 1981, 1984). Following this research, open space qualities such as naturalness and diversity, specific characteristics of the site, possibilities for “appropriation activities”, acces­sibility and usability contribute to recreation of adults. The results of this study show that this obviously also holds true for urban-industrial wood­lands.

Compared to the survey from 1997 (Table 1), leisure activities of adults increased in 2003 (Table 2) while children’s play and adolescents’ activi­ties decreased. This shows that the project fields have developed into es­tablished and accepted open spaces and have shaped the post-industrial ur­ban landscape of the Ruhr (Fig. 3).

Table 2. Activities in the “Industriewald Rheinelbe” (results of 120 hours of ob­servations and mappings carried out over 24 days in Gelsenkirchen in the summer of 2003)

Activities observed

Number

%

Cycling

766

27.2

Taking a walk

665

23.6

Walking the dog

481

17.1

Lingering

242

8.6

Jogging

229

8.1

Children’s play

129

4.6

Mountain biking

118

4.2

Other sport activities

61

2.2

Adolescents’ activities

59

2.1

Collecting berries

22

0.8

Passing through quickly

17

0.6

Getting drunk

14

0.5

Picking flowers

10

0.4

Studying industrial history

4

0.1

Photography

2

0.1

Horse-back riding

1

0

Total

2,820

100

Recreation areas for adults Recreation areas for adults

image28Fig. 3. “Industriewald Rheinelbe” – Spatial distribution of observed activities in 2003