Social research

Our social research explores community attitudes to and engagement with the built and natural environment, recreation and the social impacts of climate change.

Social research undertaken by the Department of Planning and Environment falls into three main areas:

  • literature reviews or program and research reviews
  • primary research
  • guides for using research for program planning and evaluation.

Transformative Travel: Concepts and Market Opportunities for Protected Areas – a systematic quantitative literature review of transformative travel (tourism and recreation) in parks.

The focus was on health and wellness, spiritual, cultural/indigenous and volunteer travel including: markets, motivations, benefits and experiential factors that transform participants. Innovative transformative travel experiences for parks are discussed.

Who Cares About the Environment?: a triennial survey measuring people's environmental attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviour. The most recent main survey, the eighth in the series, was conducted in 2012.

NSW Community Attitudes to Heritage: As part of its commitment to protect, celebrate and share heritage in NSW, we worked with EY Sweeney to undertake a social research program, developed to enhance understanding of how heritage is perceived and valued by the people of NSW.

Domestic Visitation to NSW national parks in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018: biennial surveys providing an estimate of the number of domestic visits to NSW national parks, visitor profiles, participation in activities on park and satisfaction levels.

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