The impact of COVID-19 on the importance and use of public parks in Saudi Arabia

Sanad Al-Khawaja, Omar S. Asfour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected people's interaction with their urban environment. This study aims to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people's experience of using public parks. The study considered the pandemic's impact on awareness of the importance of these parks and the associated use rates, duration and patterns taking Dammam City in Saudi Arabia as a case study in this regard, where improving the provision and utilisation of public parks tops the urban development agenda. The study adopted a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach, using participatory observation and questionnaire surveys. The study found that the COVID-19 pandemic has improved awareness of the importance of public parks in daily life, reflected in visit rates and duration. Some observable changes in people's use patterns in these spaces emerged in this context, as they expressed greater preference for pursuing physical activities in the post-pandemic period.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102286
JournalAin Shams Engineering Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Article Processing Charges (APCs) were funded by King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University


  • COVID-19
  • Post-pandemic planning
  • Public parks
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Urban design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (all)


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