Budget Recrunch: Centering Equity in Public-Park Investments

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CM | 0.75

Learning Outcomes

  • Evaluate community context, park conditions, historic patterns of investment, and public priorities to shape a Parks for All strategy centered on equity.
  • Change standard approaches to municipal budgeting and funding for public park and recreation systems.
  • Develop an equity-based, data-driven framework for investing in capital improvements, park maintenance, and recreation programming.

More Course Details

Learn from Pittsburgh and Louisville about crafting an equitable park investment strategy that blends data on community context, park conditions, patterns of investment, and public priorities to change municipal budgeting practices and raise new funds for public park systems.

A recent uptick in interest in investing in public spaces is driven by research that underscores their importance to the physical, social, and environmental health of individual, communities, and cities at large. By assessing spending on public parks over time and considering capital and maintenance backlogs, city staff, elected officials, philanthropic partners, and the public can better understand what it takes to achieve results by investing in parks and targeting resources in communities with the greatest need.

Presenters cover how to measure needs across park systems, integrate myriad open datasets to understand community context, and use data to advocate for parks and public resources. These efforts drive system-wide, equity-driven improvements; transparency in budgeting; and a new approach to capital, maintenance, and programming investments based on racial and economic justice.

Equitable park-investment strategies aim to focus capital investment in neighborhoods that historically have been underserved. They employ data on race and ethnicity, household income, environmental injustice, patterns of disinvestment, and lack of access to build the case for investing in parks and acting strategically.