Parks provide opportunities for people to be physically active, spend time with nature, and connect socially with others. Yet, over half of Los Angeles County’s population live in neighborhoods without access to parks and open space with the majority of high-need areas being concentrated in low-income communities of color. People also do not always feel welcomed in parks due to physical accessibility concerns, unequal enforcement of rules, or simply not feeling like the park was designed for them. To increase park equity and access, there is a need to both increase the number of parks and open spaces and be more intentional about how park design and programming can increase a sense of belonging. LA County has an opportunity to address these decades-long issues through increased resources provided by the passage of Measure A. But money alone is not enough to address inequity and increase people’s sense of belonging in parks and public spaces. LA needs strong partnership models to deeply engage with people to take every opportunity to increase public space and ensure these spaces are designed and programmed taking people’s individual needs into account. The recent opening of Golden Age Park in the Westlake area provides one promising partnership example of how a small space can create a big impact for people of all ages. What can people working to address park equity learn from this experience? How can other partnership models come together? Where is the opportunity to build a network of organizations to come together and work to reverse the historic inequities in park access in Los Angeles County?
Join the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and a panel of vibrant speakers on Wednesday, January 19th to learn more.