People, Parks and Places: an Analysis of Green Spaces in Madison Through Sentiment Mapping
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This paper examines the role of parks and green spaces in creating social interaction and strengthening community ties. How park structure, both physical and institutional influence sentiments and the use of the spaces, the UW Arboretum and Orton Park, as a social space. The methods of research that took place included observation, interviews, surveys, and use of geotagged and associated social media data. Our results indicated that institutional structures are linked to social interaction in green spaces in Madison. The juxtaposition of the two spaces as represented in the sentiment maps offers a viewpoint on the role of size and sense of place in the creation of social spaces. The political ecology of the spaces depends on a wide variety of factors including ownership, funding, and founding principles. In Madison, the differences between seasons and occurrence of events both play a role in the amount of social interaction that takes place in the green spaces during different months of the year.