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