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MAPPING GREEN ACCESS AND EQUITY FOR THE LOS ANGELES RIVER REGION

NEWSLETTER WINTER 2007

Mapping Green Access and equity for the Los Angeles River Region

The City Project is proud to release the Policy Report Healthy Parks, Schools, and Communities: Mapping Green Access and Equity for the Los Angeles Region. The Report is a guide for creating healthy, livable communities for all. It provides a positive vision to:

  • Revitalize the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers
  • Create healthy parks and schools
  • Improve health and reduce obesity
  • Invest billions of dollars in infrastructure bonds
  • Promote economic vitality, local jobs, and affordable housing
  • Engage and empower communities
  • Alleviate unfair park, school, and health disparities
  • Provide a replicable model for other regions.

The Report provides GIS mapping, demographic and historical analyses, and policy and legal justifications for healthy parks, schools, and communities.
The Report presents ten equal justice principles for ensuring every one benefits equally from public investments in natural public places.

We support a collective vision for a web of parks, school fields, rivers, beaches, mountains, forests, and other natural public places to promote healthy, livable communities for all.

This vision is inspired in part by the 1930 Olmsted plan for parks, playgrounds and beaches for the Los Angeles region. The Olmsted vision shows what should have been and what could be.

In contrast to that vision is the reality of unfair park, school, and health disparities today. Children of color living in poverty with no access to a car have the worst access to parks, and to schools with five acres or more of playing fields, and suffer from the highest levels of obesity.

The shared use of parks and schools is the best use of land and tax dollars. But shared use of parks and school fields tend to be located in disproportionately white and wealthy areas.

Obesity levels are intolerably high for children in every neighborhood–from 23 to 39%. Places and policies for physical activity in parks and schools can improve health and reduce obesity for all.

The revitalization of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers should provide multiuse projects for parks, schools, clean water, and flood control, create jobs and affordable housing, and avoid gentrification.

The Report also discusses the Heritage Parkscape, an initiative to link the Los Angeles State Historic Park at the Cornfield, the Río de Los Angeles State Park at Taylor Yard, El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the Los Angeles River, and over 100 other recreational, cultural, historical, and environmental sites. The Heritage Parkscape will serve as a “family album” to commemorate the struggles, hopes, and triumphs of the Native Americans, settlers, and immigrants who entered Los Angeles through this area.

The Report is a multimedia publication available in various formats. Visit www.cityprojectca.org to order your copy. Our new Policy Report Healthy Parks, Schools, and Communities: Mapping Green Access and Equity for California is forthcoming.