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- Quality of Life
- Park Access
Parks and green spaces in urban areas beautify a neighborhood. But parks also have proven benefits for a host of health issues. Having access to parks can help people get more physical activity, which can in turn improve physical and mental health, and reduce stress. Some studies have even shown that children who live near parks do better in school.
Unfortunately, not all residents have equal access to parks and green spaces. Recent research has shown that lower income communities of color are less likely to have access to high quality parks and green space than whiter, wealthier communities.
The Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit with a mission to make sure every resident of the U.S. lives within a 10-minute walk of a park, has assembled a national dataset of parks that helps us dig into park disparities. This dataset shows us that in most cities, access to park land varies by neighborhood. A closer look at Memphis, for example, shows that many areas outside of downtown, such as the medical district, midtown and north Memphis, have far fewer parks that people can walk to within 10 minutes.
A three-layer map shows several of the neighborhoods with lower park access also have high rates of high blood pressure and lower household incomes. Investment of local funding for creating new green spaces and parks in these areas might help create a healthier Memphis.
With the Parks data now on PolicyMap, along with other neighborhood level indicators related to health and wellbeing, PolicyMap subscribers can now get a more complete picture of the health opportunities and needs of their communities.