Thursday, March 7, 2019
Why America Needs More City Parks and Open Space
The Benefits of lay Why the States Needs to a greater extent urban center set and Open Space BY Paul M. Sheerer Published by 116 peeledly Montgomery Street quaternary Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 495-4014 www. Tip. Org 02006 the confide for human race grime Reprint of lays for People white paper, published In 2003. Table of Contents in advance Will Rogers, President, Trust for Public Land 5 Exe stingive stocky 6 the States Needs More City common lands U. S. Cities be Park-Poor Low-Income Neighborhoods Are Desperately ill-judged of Park Space Case landing field brand- young Parks for Los Angles The Public Wants More Parks 8History of Americas City Parks Inspiration, Abandonment, Revival The Decline of City Parks A Revival Begins figure Crises Threaten City Parks 10 Public Health Benefits of City Parks and Open Space Americas Twin Plagues Physical In drill and obesity Access to Parks Increases Frequency of Exercise Exposure to Nature and verdure Makes People H ealthier 12 Economic Benefits of Parks 14 increase blank shell Values clear upice Values in Low-Income Urban Areas Property Values at the Edges of Urban Areas Effects on Commercial Property Values Economic Revitalization Attracting and Retaining Businesses and Residents TourismBenefits Environmental Benefits of Parks Pollution hanging and Cooling Controlling Stemw atomic number 18 Runoff 17 Social Benefits of Parks reducing Crime Re groundwork Opportunities The Importance of Play Creating Stable Neighborhoods with Strong partnership 18 Conclusion 20 Notes 21 Bibliography 24 3 out front At the period of play of the 20th century, the majority of Americans loved in rural argonas and atomic towns, relatively close to the land. At the beginning of the 21st century, 85 grand impoverishment of places to experience nature and refresh ourselves in the out-of- doors.The emergence of America as an urban nation was anticipated by Frederick Law especial(a) and other nineteenth-cent ury special K visionaries, who gave us New Works interchange Park, San Franciscans Golden entry Park, and similar grand position in cities across the nation. They were gardeners and designers-but also preachers for the military unit of lay, fired from inwardly by the understanding that they were shaping the lumber of American lives for generations to come. In the suck of these green visionaries, lay were not amenities. They were necessities, providing recreation, inspiration, and essential prison-breaking from the city bl ar and bustle. And the visionaries were particularly concerned that car leafy ve shoot forable be usable to widely of a city residents-especi on the wholey those who did not bring on the resources to escape to the countryside. As tribe pillow sliped to the suburbs after World War II, this vision of set for all faded. Mevery cities lost the resources to create new greens. And in the new suburbs, the excursive landscapes of curving CUL-De-sacs we re broken mostly by boxy shopping centers and concrete park lots.The time has come for Americans to rededicate themselves to the vision of park for all the nations people. As the actions leading conservation group creating parks in and nigh cities, the Trust for Public Land (TIP) has launched its Parks for People initiative in the belief that each American child should enjoy convenient opening code to a nearby park or playground. This white paper outlines how do-or-die(a) the acquire is for city parks- peculiarly in inner-city neighborhoods. And it goes on to describe the companionable, environmental, economic, and health benefits parks bring to a city and its people.TIP hopes this paper will generate discourse close to the need for parks, prompt new research on the benefits f parks to cities, and serve as a reference for government leading and volunteers as they make the case that parks are essential to the health and well-being of all Americans. You will find more infor mation about the need for city parks and their benefits in the Parks for People arm of Taps Web site (www. Tip. Org/poor) where you can also sign-up for Parks for People information and support Taps Parks for People work.TIP is proud to be high erupting the need for parks in Americas cities. Thanks for Joining our essay to ensure a park at heart reach of every American home. Will Rogers President, the Trust for Public Land City parks and expand property meliorate our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. But too a few(prenominal) Americans are able to enjoy these benefits. cardinal partage of Americans live in metropolitan areas, and more of these areas are firmly needinessing in park topographic point.Only 30 share of Los Angles residents live within walking distance mile. Low-income neighborhoods live by minorities and recent immigrants are specially short of par k lieu. From an equity standpoint, there is a bullnecked need to sort out this imbalance. In Los Angles, white neighborhoods enjoy 31. 8 acres of park space for every 1,000 people, compared with 1. 7 acres in African-American neighborhoods and 0. 6 acres in Latino neighborhoods. This inequitable distribution of park space harms the residents of these communities and creates substantial cost for the nation as a whole.U. S. Voters collect repeatedly shown their willingness to raise their own taxes to pay for new or emendd parks. In 2002, 189 conservation supporting measures appeared on votes in 28 states. Voters approved three-quarters of these, generating $10 billion in conservation-re upstartd sustenance. Many of the nations great city parks were built in the second half of the 19th century. Urban planners believed the parks would improve national health, relieve the stresses of urban life, and create a demonstrating humans space where rich and poor would mix on equal te rms.By the mid-20th century, city parks fell into decline as people fled inner cities for the suburbs. The suburbs fared no better, as people believed that backyards would meet the requirement for public open space. Over the ultimo couple of decades, interest in city parks has revived. Governments and civic groups rough the country have revalidated run- cut down city parks, built gre studys along rivers, born-again tumble-down railroad lines to trails, and planted residential district gardens in vacant lots.But with the latest economic downturn, states and cities lining severe compute crises are slashing their park spending, threatening the health of existing parks, and curtailing the creation of new parks. Strong secernate shows that when people have access to parks, they exercise more. Regular physical activity as been shown to increase health and reduce the risk of a massive range of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes. Physical a ctivity also relieves symptoms of picture and anxiety, improves mood, and enhances psychological well-being.Beyond the benefits of exercise, a growing body of research shows that contact with the inseparable world improves physical and psychological health. Despite the importance of exercise, totally 25 pct of American adults engage in the recommended takes of physical activity, and 29 percent engage in no leisure-time physical activity. The sedentary lifestyle and wheezy diet of Americans have produced an epidemic of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Pr howevertion has called for the creation of more parks and playgrounds to help fight this epidemic.Numerous studies have shown that parks and open space increase the value of neighboring residential property. Growing express points to a similar benefit on commercial property value. The accessibility of park and recreation facilities is an principal(prenominal) quality-of-life factor for corporations choosing where to locate facilities and for well-educated individuals choosing a place to live. City parks such as San Notations Riverview Park a good deal become important tourism draws, contributing heavily Green space in urban areas provides substantial environmental benefits.Trees reduce air defilement and water pollution, they help keep cities cooler, and they are a more sound and little expensive way to manage stemware runoff than building systems of concrete sewers and drainage ditches. City parks also produce important social and community development benefits. They make inner-city neighborhoods more livable they offer unpaid opportunities for at-risk youth, low-income children, and low-income families and they provide places n low-income neighborhoods where people can feel a find of community.Access to public parks and recreational facilities has been strongly linked to reductions in abuse and in particular to reduced Juvenile delinquency. Community gardens increase residents adept of community ownership and stewardship, provide a focus for neighborhood activities, crack inner-city youth to nature, connect people from diverse cultures, reduce crime by cleaning up vacant lots, and build community leaders. In light of these benefits, the Trust for Public Land calls for a revival of the city parks movement of the late 19th century.We invite all Americans to Join the effort to bring parks, open spaces, and greengages into the nations neighborhoods where everyone can benefit from them. 7 The residents of many U. S. Cities escape adequate access to parks and open space near their homes. In 2000, 80 percent of Americans were living in metropolitan areas, up from 48 percent in 1940. 1 The park space in many of these metropolitan areas is grossly inadequate. In battle of Atlanta, for example, parkland covers only 3. 8 percent of the city area.Atlanta has no public green space larger than terce of a full-blooded mile. 2 The city has only 7. Acres of park space for every 1,000 residents, compared with a 19. 1 acre average for other medium-low population density cities. 3 The story is much the same in Los Angles, San Jose, New Orleans, and Dallas. Even in cities that have substantial park space as a whole, the residents of many neighborhoods neglect access to nearby parks. In New York City, for example, nearly half of the city 59 community board districts have less than 1. 5 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. Low-Income Neighborhoods Are Desperately Short of Park Space Low-income neighborhoods populated by minorities and recent immigrants are especially short f park space. Minorities and the poor have historically been shunted off to live on the wrong side of the tracks, in paved-over, industrialized areas with few public amenities. From an equity standpoint, there is a strong need to redress this imbalance. In Los Angles, white neighborhoods (where whites make up 75 percent or more of the residents) boast 31. 8 acres of park space for eve ry 1,000 people, compared with 1. 7 acres in African-American neighborhoods and 0. Acres in Latino neighborhoods. 5 This inequitable distribution of park space harms the residents of are costs alone are potentially enormous. Lacking places for recreation, minorities and low-income individuals are significantly less likely than whites and high-income individuals to engage in the regular physical activity that is of the essence(p) to good health. Among non-Hispanic white adults in the United States, 34. 9 percent engage in regular leisure-time physical activity, compared with only 25. 4 percent of non- Hispanic black adults and 22. 7 percent of Hispanic adults. And adults with incomes below the poverty level are three times as likely as high-income adults to neer be physically active. Even where the government or voters have allocated new money for park acquisition, there is significant risk that wealthier and better-organized districts will take over more than their fair share. Th e Los Angles neighborhood of South Central-with the city second-highest prove- The Trust for Public Land TTY rate, highest share of children, and lowest access to nearby park space-received only about half as much per-child parks funding as affluent West Los Angles from Proposition K between 1998 and 2000. Case register New Parks for Los Angles With 28,000 people crammed into its one square mile of low-rise buildings, the city f Manhood in Los Angles County is the most densely populated U. S. City outside the New York City metropolitan area. 10 Its residents-96 percent are Hispanic and 37 percent are children-are often jammed five to a bedroom, with entire families living in garages and beds being utilize on a time-share basis. The Trust for Public Land (TIP) has been working in Manhood since 1996 to purchase, assemble, and convince six separate former industrial sites into a seven-acre riverside park.The project will double Manhoods park space. 11 onwards TIP began its work, t he future park site was occupied by abandoned arouses and industrial buildings, covered in garbage, graffiti, rusted metal, and barrels of industrial waste. Until the late asses, the parcels contained a glue factory, a transfer facility for solvents, and a hand truck service facility one parcel was designated an Environmental Protection means Superfine site. 12 TIP is preparing to acquire the final parcel and has veritable preliminary designs for the site.The completed park will invite Manhoods residents to gather at its picnic benches, stroll its walking trails, relax on its lawns, and play with their children in its tot lot. The Manhood project is a precursor of Taps Parks for People-Los Angles chopine, an thought-provoking new effort to create parks where they are most desperately needed. The case for more parks in Los Angles is among the most compelling of any American city today. Only 30 percent of its residents live within a quarter mile of a park, compared with between 8 0 percent and 90 percent in Boston and New York, respectively. 3 If these residents are Latino, African American, or Asian Pacific, they have even less access to green space. TIP has set a goal of creating 25 new open space projects in Los Angles over the would be invested in undeserved minority communities. To accomplish this goal, TIP will help these communities through the gauntlets of public and private fundraising, real estate transactions, strategic planning, and stewardship issues. Los Angles is also the site of Taps depression application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to assess the need for parks.TIP launched the GIS broadcast in late 2001 in Los 9 O The Trust for Public Land Angles and has since expanded the program to New York, lass Vegas, Boston, Charlotte, Miami, and Camden and Newark, New Jersey. Taps GIS system uses census, anemographic and other data to map out areas of high population, concentrated poverty, and lack of access to park space. With GIS tec hnology, TIP can now pinpoint the areas of express population growth, study landownership patterns, and acquire key parcels before development rent digs up property prices or destroys open space.Further, GIS helps TIP create next park space, protecting natural habitats and connecting larger parks with linear greengages, sooner than create a patchwork quilt of open space. 14 Voters have repeatedly shown their willingness to raise their own taxes to pay for new or modify parks. In the November 2002 elections, voters in 93 communities in 22 states approved ballot measures that committed $2. 9 billion to acquire and restore land for parks and open space.Voters approved 85 percent of such referendums in these elections. 1 5 Voter support in 2002 increased from the already strong 75 percent approval rate for similar measures in November 2001. 16 History of Americas City Parks Inspiration, Abandonment, Revival During the second half of the 19th century, American cities built grand cit y parks to improve their residents quality of life. Dubbed 19th-century pleasure grounds by ark historians, the parks include New Works Central Park and San Franciscans Golden Gate Park.Municipal officials of the time saw these parks as a refuge from the crowded, polluted, stressful cities-places where citizens could experience fresh air, sunshine, and the spiritually turning power of nature a place for recreation and a demonstrating public space where rich and poor would mix on equal terms. The new parks were inspired by an anti-urban ideal that dwelt on the traditional prescription for mitigation from the evils of the city-to escape to the country, Galen Crane writes.The new American parks thus were conceived as great pleasure grounds meant to be pieces of the country, with fresh air, meadows, lakes, and sunshine practiced in the city. 17 The Decline of City Parks spending on city parks declined. The well-to-do and white abandoned the cities for the suburbs, taking public fun ding with them. Cities and their parks fell into a spiral of decay. Cities cut park maintenance funds, parks deteriorated, and crime rose many city dwellers came to view places like Central Park as too dangerous to visit. 18 The suburbs that mushroomed at the edges of major cities were often built with little public park space.For residents of these areas, a trip out of the house means a drive to the shopping mall. Beginning around 1990, many city and town councils began forcing developers to make for open space to their projects. Still, these open spaces are often effectively off-limits to the general public in the vast sprawl around Lass Vegas, for example, the newer subdivisions often have open space at their centers, but these spaces are hidden inside a labyrinth of winding streets. Residents of older, low- and middle-income neighborhoods have to get in their cars (if they have one) and drive to find recreation space. 9 More recently, city parks have experienced something of a renaissance which has benefited cities unequally. The edit out began in the asses and flourished in the asses as part of a general surrogate of urban areas funded by a strong economy. It coincided with a philosophical shift in urban planning away from designing around the move and a backlash against the alienating modernism of mid-20th-century public architecture, in kick upstairs of public spaces that welcome and engage the community in general and the unglamorous in particular.Government authorities, civic groups, and private agencies around the country have worked unitedly to revivalist UN-down city parks, build greengages along formerly polluted rivers, convert abandoned railroad lines to trails, and plant community gardens in vacant lots. The Park at Post Office Square in Boston shows how even a small but well-designed open space can transform its surroundings. Before work on the park began in the late asses, the square was filled by an exceptionally ugly concrete parking garage, blighting an important part of the financial district.Many buildings on the square shifted their entrances and addresses to other streets not facing the square. 20 Completed in 1992, the 1. -acre park is considered one of the most gorgeous city parks in the United States. Its immaculate landscaping-with 125 species of plants, flowers, bushes, and trees-its half-acre lawn, its fountains, and its teak and granite benches lure throngs of workers during lunchtime on warm days.Hidden underneath is a seven-floor parking garage for 1,400 cars, which provides financial support for the park. 21 It clearly, without any question, has enhanced and changed the entire neighborhood, says Serge Denis, managing director of Lee Meridian Hotel Boston, which borders the park. Its absolutely gorgeous. Not surprisingly, rooms 11 Yet despite such success stories, local communities often lack the transactional and development skills to effectively acquire property and convert it into park space.T IP serves a vital role in this capacity, working closely with local governments and community residents to determine where parks are needed to help develop funding strategies to negotiate and acquire property to plan the park and develop it and finally, to turn it over to the public. Between 1971 and 2002, the Trust for Public Lands work in cities resulted in the acquisition of 532 properties totaling 40,754 cress. In the nations 50 largest cities TIP acquired 138 properties totaling 7,640 acres. 3 In the foment of the bursting of the economic bubble of the late asses, states and cities facing severe reckon crises are slashing their park spending. With a projected $2. 4 billion reckon shortfall in the two-year period beginning July 2003, Minnesota has cut its aid to local governments, hurting city park systems across the state. The Minneapolis Park & pleasure wit, confronting a 20 percent cut in its funding through 2004, has been forced to respond by deferring maintenance, clos ing wading lolls and beaches, providing fewer portable toilets, and reducing its mounted police patrol program.The required program cuts represent a huge loss to the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and to the children of Minneapolis, says Park Board Superintendent Mary Merrill Anderson. 24 When Georgians state legislature went into session in January 2003, lawmakers found themselves grappling with a $650 one thousand thousand budget shortfall. Part of their response was to eliminate the planned $30 million in financial 2003 funding for the Georgia Community Greengages Program, after appropriating $30 million per fiscal year in 001 and 2002.The legislature also cut the 2004 budget from $30 million to $10 million. The program helps the states fastest-growing counties set aside adequate green space-at least 20 percent of their land-amid all the new subdivisions and pillow slip malls. Most of the affected counties are around Atlanta, among the nations worst examples of urban spra wl. For legislators capture for budget-cutting targets, Georgians $30 million Community Greengages Program was like a cow in the middle of a group of chickens, says David Swan, program director for Taps Atlanta office.The cut makes a compelling argument that we need a give funding source, so that green space acquisition isnt depending on fiscal cycles and the legislature. 25 The federal government has also cut its city parks spending. In 1978, the federal government established the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery (PARR) program to help urban areas rehabilitate their recreational facilities. The program received no funding in fiscal year 2003, down from $28. 9 million in both 2001 and 2002. 26 President Bushs budget proposal for fiscal 2004 also allocates no PARR funding.