As COVID-19 has swept across the world, governments have been prompted to order social distancing measures, from the closure of schools, restaurants and public facilities to quarantines and lockdowns. Access to and contact with nature have been suggested to help combat impacts associated with isolation measures, and a coincidental surge in the number of visitors to country parks in Hong Kong has recently been observed. The current study sought to explore the visitation of country parks as an adaptation to COVID-19 by employing the socio-psychological model of precautionary adaptation (SPMPA). Questionnaire surveys were administered in 12 country parks in Hong Kong, and a total of 600 samples were collected. A conceptual model based on the SPMPA was proposed and tested through multiple regression analysis. Significant associations between perceived severity, threat experience and adaptative behaviour were found, suggesting the possible risks of visiting country parks. However, the relationships among perceived adaptation efficacy, adaptation cost and reliance on public adaptation implied that the adaptative benefits of visiting country parks may outweigh the risks when proper visitor management measures are implemented. The findings highlighted the importance of providing accessible protected areas or other types of nature-based spaces to facilitate the adaptation of people to disease outbreaks in both the short and long run. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
CitationMa, A. T. H., Lam, T. W. L., Cheung, L. T. O., & Fok, L. (2021). Protected areas as a space for pandemic disease adaptation: A case of COVID-19 in Hong Kong. Landscape and Urban Planning, 207. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103994
- Protected area