Report: Minorities Suffer Inequalities in Access to Green Space in Southern California
The City Project has released its policy report, Healthy Parks, Schools and Communities: Green Access and Equity for Southern California, which maps and analyzes park access and equity in nine counties in Southern California using narrative analyses, geographic information system (GIS) mapping tools, and demographic and economic data.
While there is an abundance of green space throughout Southern California as a whole, not all residents enjoy equal access to these resources, according to the report, which is in English and Spanish.
Children of color—including Latinos—living in poverty with no access to a car suffer first and worst in terms of access to green space and opportunities for physical activity in the nine counties and Southern California overall.
Health and quality of life disparities follow the same pattern as green access disparities.
But the report’s recommendations could initiate a discussion about the benefits of equality overall and in parks, the values of which include the simple joys of playing in the park or school field; physical, psychological and social health; improved academic performance; positive alternatives to gangs, crime, drugs, and violence; and economic vitality for all.
“The work of The City Project and their community partners can spur new parks and recreation areas like walking paths and gardens in underserved neighborhoods, as well as joint-use agreements between schools and parks, and the recognition of green space access in local planning and policy documents,” said Diana Bonta of Kaiser Permanente.