Understanding the Experience of Urban Leisure Spaces: Using Geographically-Explicit Ecological Momentary Assessment to Understand Space-Use Patterns, Perceptions, and Preferences of Locals Versus Tourists

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:10
Oral Presentation
Peter MORDEN, Concordia University, Canada
Understanding individuals’ experiences within leisure activities and environments using experience sampling techniques has been a longstanding interest of leisure scholars. However, the reported location of participants has often been vague and only allowed for rather gross aggregation; for instance, “home” versus “away from home.” Technological advance in the fields of geographical information systems as well as information technology, however, has afforded far greater specificity and has allowed for individualized assessment of a variety of features of specific environments. The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate how new approaches to in-situ experience assessment may allow for an understanding of urban leisure spaces, differentiated by user characteristics as well as a variety of environmental variables.

First, an overview of geographically-explicit ecological momentary assessment (GEMA) will be provided and will address strengths of GEMA approaches relative to more commonly used techniques to sample experiences. Second, using the case of tourists’ versus locals’ experience of the urban environment and leisure provisions, the presentation will seek to demonstrate how motivation and habituation may lead to distinct patterns of participation and experience in given locations. As well, the possibility of combining knowledge of salient personal characteristics (e.g., personality and temperament) with geographically-explicit state-based data (e.g., arousal and affect) will be explored. It is to be argued that understanding how tourists and locals may respond to their engagement with different aspects of the built environment will allow for better conceived and marketed experiences for tourists and well as improved livability and enjoyment for local residents. Lastly, to be discussed are methodological considerations related to sampling, data security, and analysis, as well as possibilities for certain types of data validation through comparison to objective reports.