Exploring the Distribution of Park Availability, Features, and Quality Across Kansas City, Missouri by Income and Race/Ethnicity

An Environmental Justice Investigation

Public parks offer an important resource for promoting physical activity. In a supplement to the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the authors of this article examined park availability, features (facilities and amenities) and quality across different income and race/ethnicity levels.

This study was conducted across 165 parks in Kansas City using census tracts as the unit for analysis. A total of 174 census tracts were analyzed. These small subdivisions of a county contained a fairly homogenous population ranging from 2,500–8,000 people. Each census tract was then further categorized into low, medium, and high income levels, and low, medium, and high percent minority. Using the Community Park Audit Tool, park features and quality were assessed.

Key Finding:

  • Low-income census tracts contained significantly more parks, but the parks contained fewer playgrounds. More parks with basketball courts were noted in high-minority census tracts, but fewer trails were also noted in that proportion of parks.

Examining disparities in park availability and features, especially in low-income and high-minority areas, should be a topic of future research. The benefits of public parks for promoting physical activity can be heightened if disparities are remedied.

Introduction to the Active Living Research Supplement

  1. 1. Translating Research to Policy Through Health Impact Assessment in Clark County, Washington
  2. 2. Uneven Playing Field--Effective Strategies to Address Health Inequity Through Active Living Research
  3. 3. Using Evidence to Create Active Communities: Stories from the Field--Policy and Research with Chicago's Child Care Centers
  4. 4. Trends in Presentations of Environmental and Policy Studies Related to Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity at Society of Behavioral Medicine, 1995-2010
  5. 5. Spatial Disparities in the Distribution of Parks and Green Spaces in the USA
  6. 6. Exploring the Distribution of Park Availability, Features, and Quality Across Kansas City, Missouri by Income and Race/Ethnicity
  7. 7. Perceptions of Neighborhood Park Quality
  8. 8. Gender Differences in Self-Report Physical Activity and Park and Recreation Facility Use Among Latinos in Wake County, North Carolina
  9. 9. Beyond Distance: Children's School Travel Mode Choice
  10. 10. The Perceived and Built Environment Surrounding Urban Schools and Physical Activity Among Adolescent Girls
  11. 11. Aesthetic Amenities and Safety Hazards Associated with Walking and Bicycling for Transportation in New York City
  12. 12. Does Neighbourhood Walkability Moderate the Effects of Mass Media Communication Strategies to Promote Regular Physical Activity?
  13. 13. Individual-and Area-Level Disparities in Access to the Road Network, Subway System and a Public Bicycle Share Program on the Island of Montreal, Canada
  14. 14. Effect of Bike Lane Infrastructure Improvements on Ridership in One New Orleans Neighborhood
  15. 15. Using Google Street View to Audit the Built Environment
  16. 16. School Sport Participation Under Two School Sport Policies
  17. 17. Physical Education and Student Activity
  18. 18. District and School Physical Education Policies
  19. 19. Predictors of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) in African American Young Adolescents
  20. 20. Pathways to Outdoor Recreation, Physical Activity, and Delinquency Among Urban Latino Adolescents
  21. 21. Locations of Joint Physical Activity in Parent-Child Pairs Based on Accelerometer and GPS Monitoring