Not too close, not too far: urban parks and subjective well-being in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia

Andrés Vargas, Paola Roldán


This article studies the relationship between life satisfaction and distance from the place of residence to the nearest urban park in the city of Barranquilla, Colombia. Using self-reported information on life satisfaction and spatial data on park location, we find a significant, inverted U-shaped effect of distance to urban parks on wellbeing. If distance to the urban park is too large, then the positive effects of the park cannot be enjoyed as much; but, if distance is too short, then negative effects due to noise, congestion or fear of crime may occur and outweigh the positive effects of the park. In general, results suggest that parks improve the welfare of urban populations and that their potential effect is greater if the factors that generate disutility to nearby residents are intervened.


life satisfaction, happiness; urban parks; willingness to pay


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