Recreation – meaning, description and approach in urban planning

Recreation (leisure) is a set of activities that we do in our spare time. The origin of the word recreation is Latin (recreatio) it literally means recover, improvement or personal development different from working.

There are two main groups of recreational activities – in home and out of home. Leisure in home are mainly sleeping, cooking and eating, learning, homework, childcare, games, entertainment and more. On the other hand leisure out of home are sport, social events, traveling, tourism, etc.

Unlike recreation, tourism is a set of activities that we do on location different from home for more than one day. This means it is necessary to stay overnight in hotel or other type of temporary accommodation.

Recreation is diversified in three main groups according to the period of time:

Everyday recreation

This type of recreation is mainly in home or close to home sleeping, personal care, homework, education, childcare, sports, etc.

Weekly recreation

This type of recreation is in home and also out of home in suburban areas or regional. It is characterized with activities that we do in the end of the week.

Annual recreation

It corresponds to traveling for 3-7 days out of the region and of course it is performed more than once in a year. It is with temporary accommodation in a hotel or some other type.

Duration of spare time

Industrial and telecommunication development automate a lot of processes in our everyday life. In this manner the average working time is reduced significantly. In the middle of 19th century work is 13016 hours each day and in the middle of 20th century it is limited to 8-9 hours a day and the trend for the future now is to decrease even more.

Urban planning approach

The main challenge in front of urban planning is to provide access of population to recreational/ tourism resources (springs, sea/ ocean, water basins, mountains, etc.) and at the same time to minimize or eliminate the conflicts with other functions (industrial, public, ecological, transport and communications, etc.). The coverage of the different recreational groups is correlated with the financial abilities of the population.

A substantial component beside access to recreational resources and hotels is the additional activities that include a larger part of the people and all year round availability of hotels. According to the context the main groups are as follow:

Tourist routes
Cultural routes
Sport activities and competitions
Social and cultural events

Proper introduction of additional services may significantly increase the attractiveness of the recreational resources and respectively the number of tourists.

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