Urban parks and green spaces protect public health by providing opportunities for physical activity, time in nature, social connection, and respite. Parks also filter air, remove pollution, buffer noise, cool temperatures, filter stormwater, and replenish groundwater. But access to parks and green space is very unequal across lines of race and class. For generations, park inequities have unfairly and unjustly affected low-income communities of color.
To achieve park equity, people living in communities that have been historically excluded from park-related decision-making must be heard. The materials in this toolkit were designed to support community-based organizations, their members, and others who are building power to secure equitable investments in park infrastructure in disinvested communities.
The Park Equity, Life Expectancy, and Power Building Advocacy Toolkit materials include:
- Overview: key findings from the research synopsis and policy brief.
- Policy brief: Reviews evidence of park inequities in the Los Angeles region, lays out a framework for achieving park equity and sets forth policy recommendations.
- Research synopsis: Describes findings from new research linking availability of parks and life expectancy at the census tract-level in Los Angeles County.
- Three community profiles: Highlight the work of park equity advocates Boyle Heights and unincorporated East Los Angeles; Panorama City, Pacoima, and Sun Valley; and South Los Angeles and summarize local park equity and life expectancy data.
- Presentation slides with talking points: Assist individuals and groups advocating to prioritize public investments in communities with low life expectancy and high park need. *Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the .ppt files of these powerpoint documents.
- Traducciones en español del documento de descripción general de la equidad del parque y los perfiles de la comunidad sobre Boyle Heights y el este de Los Ángeles no incorporado; Panorama City, Pacoima y Sun Valley; y Sur de Los Ángeles.
- Maps: Click on the links for maps that were used in and created as part of the research analysis: Community Maps, LA City Council Maps, LA County Supervisorial District Maps, United States Small-Area Life Expectancy Project (USALEEP) maps, LA County Reduced Life Expectancy Map.
- Park Equity Toolkit Tip Sheet: Provides descriptions of the various toolkit documents and tips for how to use them.
- Webinar series recordings: In this webinar series, you’ll hear from the UCLA professor who conducted the research and representatives of community-based organizations that will use its results to push for park equity.
Data described in the toolkit come from a rapid review of the literature and new research conducted by UCLA’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, in partnership with Prevention Institute, seven local base-building organizations (listed below), and the Center for Health Equity at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
- Community Coalition
- Esperanza Community Housing Corporation
- Long Beach Forward
- National Health Foundation
- Social Justice Learning Institute
- Pacoima Beautiful
- Promesa Boyle Heights
This project is supported by the Urban Institute through funds provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We thank them for their support and acknowledge that the findings and conclusions presented in this report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Urban Institute or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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