Recreational Demand at Lakes and Reservoirs

by George E. Kanaan, (A.M.ASCE), Staff Engr.; Eno Foundation for Transp., Inc., Saugatuck, CT,
Harold J. Day, (A.M.ASCE), Prof. and Chmn.; Concentration in Envir. Control, Coll. of Envir. Sci., Univ. of Wisconsin at Green Bay, Green Bay, WI,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 2, Pg. 265-269

Document Type: Journal Paper


Recreational benefits from water resources projects and esthetic losses due to poor river quality in urban areas are increasingly being incorporated in metropolitan planning studies. A review of some of the factors influencing the demand for outdoor water-oriented recreation is appropriate prior to describing specific methods for estimating benefits. Major factors influencing the demand for such recreation are many, varied, and interrelated. Some of them relate to the user, others to the recreational area, while others describe the relationship between the user and the recreational area. Some of these factors are: (1) travel distance; (2) travel time; (3) population and population distribution; (4) socioeconomic characteristics of the population; (5) the quality of the recreational experience; and (6) the availability of other recreational facilities. Attempting to find a method to estimate recreational demand that incorporates all factors is a formidable task. Two general procedures have been developed: the demand curve method and the visitor or day user method. The fundamental assumption in both is the correlation between use of a recreational area and willingness to pay.

Subject Headings: Travel time | Recreational facilities | Water-based recreation | Lakes | Reservoirs | Water quality | Water resources | Urban areas

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