Urban parks have a fundamental role and an essential function for urban populations, both in terms of access to nature and the role they play in the quality of life. Thus, it is key to evaluate and monitor these spaces to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the offer. The literature and studies developed on this issue suggest a diverse range of methodologies for the evaluation of these spaces. However, most of them focus on one or two aspects of their contribution to sustainability and/or just a specific space. This partial approach does not allow the manager to have a holistic view, nor to compare the various urban recreation spaces. The methodology proposed here aims to overcome these limitations. It targets not only to accomplish a holistic approach allowing to integrate the three dimensions of sustainability - ecological, economic and social - but also assure to be able to be replicable and applicable to various contexts. In addition to the possibility of evaluating a specific park, it has the advantage for allowing the comparison between different parks. It thus constitutes a valuable tool not only for the monitoring of these spaces in support of management strategies but simultaneously the comparison of different urban parks. Management implications: The paper presents a methodological approach and tool helping managers to assess urban parks with different characteristics, allowing their comparison and identification of key elements for the successful planning of large parks in an urban environment. This is typically the bases promoting a multifunctional perspective on planning and management, that can bring more value to urban parks.Using this tool, managers are able to compare the performance of different parks and to test alternative management models in order to provide spaces that bring people closer to nature and enhance the well-being of the urban population.
- Urban parks