Parks, public spaces, and school yards provide places for people to gather and recreate. In urban areas, where most people live in apartments or homes with small backyards, shared public spaces play an important role in promoting healthy lifestyles for residents. These spaces may range from large parks with trails and sports fields to small pocket parks with a playground.
What are we measuring?
Percent of urban-area homes within a quarter-mile or half-mile of a park or schoolyard.
This indicator measures how many households are within an easy walking distance of a park or school yard. Typical indicators measure acres of parks per capita, however in urban areas, access to parks is more important than the size of the park.
There are two ways to improve access to parks:
Expand housing opportunities near existing parks, and
Develop new parks in areas further away from existing open space.
Overall, households in urban areas have better access to parks than those in rural areas. Households in urban centers and corridors are the most likely to be near a park or school yard.