|M.Sc Thesis||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management|
|Supervisors:||Dr. Baron Mira|
|Dr. Gila Albert|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
The aim of this study is to evaluate the environmental and transport factors that influence individual usage of playgrounds aimed for young children, focusing on culture differences between the Arabic and Jewish community.
Fourteen playgrounds in Haifa (Israel), were selected, based on characteristics such as the neighborhood socio-economic classification and the playgrounds' features. Two of the selected playgrounds were chosen in Arab residential neighborhoods. A questionnaire, based on revealed and stated preferences methods, was distributed to adults present in these playgrounds with the children. Approximately 20 questionnaires were collected in each playground. Ecological statistics regarding the selected playgrounds have also been compiled.
The results indicate significant differences between the Jewish and Arab populations concerning playground usage. Differences are obtained in parameters such as frequency of playground visits, on-site time, and the level of satisfaction. All of these parameters were found to be more intensive among the Jewish population.
Analysis of the transport variables shows that the Jewish population considers playground accessibility, distance to other activities, trip chaining, and parking availability as significantly more essential, compared to the Arab population. The perceived Air pollution was found to negatively affect on-site time (only among the Jewish community) and on the self satisfaction among both communities. Noise was found to adversely affect the frequency of visits, the on-site time (only among the Arab community) and satisfaction.
To gain more insight and better understanding of playgrounds' utilization, the willingness to pay (WTP) for preservation of a playground, building a new playground, and preventing destruction of a playground were evaluated.
The WTP evaluation indicates that people with high socioeconomic level agree to pay much more than people with low socioeconomic level and that WTP for men was higher than for women. People declared that they are willing to pay more for playgrounds with good conditions, and the willingness to pay is positively related to the proximity of home to the playground. The WTP for preventing destruction of a playground was the lowest (for the two populations), while the WTP for preserving a playground was the highest among the Arabs and the WTP for constructing a new playground was the highest among Jews.
To generalize the study consequences, the benefit-transfer method was used and found appropriate and effective to transfer obtained values from selected playgrounds (research sites) to others (policy sites). However this can be done only for playgrounds with similar features and only for the Jewish community.