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Parks and park funding in Los Angeles: An equity-mapping analysis

Citation: Urban Geography, 2005, 26, 1, 4-35

An equity-mapping analysis of access to park space enjoyed by children and youth in Los Angeles (LA), and by residents according to their race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status finds that low-income and concentrated poverty areas as well as neighborhoods dominated by Latinos, African Americans, and Asian-Pacific Islanders, have dramatically lower levels of access to park resources than White-dominated areas of the city. Further, a mapping of park-bond funding allocations by location reveals that funding patterns often exacerbate rather than ameliorate existing inequalities in park and open-space resource distributions. Given the lack of large parcels for park acquisition, these results indicate that creative strategies for providing open space-such as utilizing vacant lots, alleys, underutilized school sites, public or utility-owned property, unnecessarily wide streets, and abandoned riverbeds-will be required in the city’s older neighborhoods to redress existing inequities in access to parks.

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