Loukaitou-Sideris Highlights Societal Value of Parks

Urban Planning Professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris spoke to USA Today about how to address inequities in the accessibility of parks and public spaces. Across the United States, the nicest parks tend to be in the wealthiest, whitest neighborhoods. Lack of access to parks means that people living in dense, urban areas have a harder time getting physical exercise and are more likely to have health conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. “These are the neighborhoods that need these open spaces the most, because they do not have private open spaces,” Loukaitou-Sideris said. In dense cities where land costs are high, she recommended creating smaller spaces of greenery distributed through neighborhoods atop parking spaces or between existing structures. “Public space is an important good in a democracy. That’s where, historically, people from different walks of life would come together,” she explained. “You want a society that can give these different amenities to its residents on some level of equality.”

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