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02/09/2010, Barcelona

Two million visitors a year make Collserola the landmark for leisure in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area

Residents of the nine municipalities of which the Parc de Collserola forms a part and who use it are more than satisfied with their city park. Most of them see this protected natural area covering 8,000 hectares as an ideal place in which to combine protection and enjoyment of nature with leisure activities.

This is one of the conclusions of the study of the frequency of visits and mobility of users of the Parc de Collserola, presented today by the abertis foundation, the Parc de Collserola Consortium and the Barcelona Institute for Regional and Metropolitan Studies. Present at the press conference were Sergi Loughney, director of the abertis foundation; Marià Martí, director in charge of the Parc de Collserola Consortium; Carles Donat, a researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Regional and Metropolitan Studies (IERMB); and Martí Boada, member of the Scientific Committee of the abertis foundation and member of the ICTA-UAB.

The park stretches over the territory of nine municipalities: Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Esplugues de Llobregat,  Molins de Rei, Montcada i Reixac, el Papiol, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Sant Feliu de Llobregat and Sant Just Desvern, and according to the survey receives over two million visits a year.

The sample was taken between October 2007 and September 2008. 3,619 park users were interviewed, alternating working days, weekends and public holidays and at different times of day. The results are presented in different areas including quantitative and qualitative analysis: the main entry points and transport; where users come from; users’ profiles; reasons for visits and length of stay, mobility within the park and finally assessment by visitors.

Cleanliness, recreation areas and signposting, the most highly rated factors

Users perceive the Parc de Collserola as a space for both leisure and enjoying nature, and over 50% of the respondents rated cleanliness, signposting and the state of recreation areas with 7 points out of 10.

67% of visitors come from Barcelona, Sant Cugat and Cerdanyola

80% of visitors to the Parc de Collserola live in one of the nine municipalities of which it forms a part. 41% of users come from Barcelona, while 13% each come from Sant Cugat and Cerdanyola.

Visitors from Barcelona enter the park via Tibidabo (32.5%) or the station at Vallvidrera (17.5%). The most commonly-used ways into the park for those from places other than Barcelona are the Plaça Rotary in Sant Cugat del Vallès (28.4%) and Can Canaletes in Cerdanyola del Vallès (24.8%).

Most users get there by private transport (42.7%), on foot (35.1%) or by bicycle (11%). 18.8% of the users from Barcelona get to the park by public transport, taking advantage of the rail link. In the other municipalities, the relief of the land enables 58% of users to get there on foot.

Profile: adult male population

Two thirds of the visitors to the Parc de Collserola are men aged between 25 and 44. Young women visit the park more than young men and the majority of visitors aged over 65 are men.

Visitors come to the park both alone and in the company of either friends or family. Only a third of the visitors are women by themselves, while the greater the age the less visits with friends and family and the more visits alone.

More than one visit a week

The Parc de Collserola has the same number of visits over the five weekdays as it has on the two days of the weekend. 50% of visits are in the morning, 28% at midday and 22% in the afternoon.

The majority of visits, 65%, last between one and three hours, with visits of less than an hour being more common on working days. 37% of users visit the park more than once a week. In summer the park is visited less often than at other times of year, autumn-winter and winter-spring.

Reasons: walking, sports and enjoying nature

The principal activities which go on in the Parc de Collserola are: walking and strolling (44%), sports (27%), cycling and jogging;  using the recreation areas (7%), enjoying nature (7%), eating out (6%) and, in last place, 9% of guided and educational activities, coming to more than 3%. All these activities are particularly popular in the autumn-winter and winter-spring periods.

Men use the park for sport more than women do, going there to jog and cycle. While the most common thing to do for both sexes is to visit the park to walk or stroll, it is even more prevalent among women.

Over 35,000 movements a year at some points

98% of the users of the Parc de Collserola follow a route to walk from one point in the park to another, from the point of entry to the park to another point and from there to the way out. There are certain points in the park where there are over 35,000 movements a year, generally over short distances.

Some examples of these are the route from the Plaça Rotary in the municipality of Sant Cugat to Can Borrell; from Vallvidrera station to the Consortium, from Tibidabo to the Mirador de les Aigües, or from Can Canaletes to Can Catà.

The park also includes other routes which are used for an average of between 5,000 and 19,999 journeys a year, and others with between 20,000 and 35,000. All these spots are the most-visited places in the park and are situated in the north-east and the south of the natural area.

Users identify about 150 different destinations, although the nine main ones account for half of all journeys in the park.

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