Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Walter L. Shouse

Committee Members

Robert L. Miles, Janice A. Spencer


Recreational facilities and activities have an increasing importance in the way Americans life today. Contrary to the past, recreation can no longer be considered a frill or luxury. Today recreation is considered to be an essential part of man's life, an outlet for the pursuit of activities enjoyed during leisure time.

The United States is becoming more and more an urbanized nation. As more and more people live in metropolitan areas, the demand for open space and recreational facilities will increase in these areas. Of special interest is the inner-city area. The people living in inner-city areas are often poor people, the ones who cannot afford to travel great distances or pay much money to participate in recreational activities. However, because of high land values and extensive development, land for public recreational facilities and activities is often lacking in the inner city areas.

Although once a rural state, Tennessee is now becoming more and more an urbanized state. The question arises as to how Tennessee is attacking the problem of providing recreational facilities in inner-city areas. This research looks at Tennessee's four largest cities. By interviewing the public officials and citizens involved in recreation and by inspecting the recreational sites, the researcher has attempted to identify the problems connected with inner-city recreation and the methods used to combat these problems. Each area is then evaluated according to five factors and comparisons among the areas are drawn.

At present, each of Tennessee's four largest cities is aware of the special need for inner-city recreational facilities. However, each area varies in the extent to which it is meeting this need. To one degree or another, each area has certain problems or inadequacies associated with the provision of inner-city recreational facilities. By knowing what the problems are and where inadequacies exist, planners can better direct their efforts toward eliminating these problems and supplying the inner-cities with the recreational facilities these areas need.

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