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Robert García presented our Policy Report Healthy Parks, Schools, and Communities: Mapping Green Access and Equity for the Los Angeles Region to the full Los Angeles City Council on March 18, 2008. Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Janice Hahn requested the presentation, which focused on improving parks and recreation in every neighborhood. The Councilmembers were fully engaged in a conversation on a fair system of park finance and fees; Quimby reform; regional grass roots support for parks and recreation; affordable housing; joint use of parks and schools; alleviating park, school, and health disparities based on race, ethnicity, and poverty; and improving the quality of life in every community.

View the maps and analyses of access to parks, schools, and pools by City Council District on The City Project flickr site.

View YouTube videos of the City Council hearing on our website at Healthy, Green, Equitable Land Use.

The Los Angeles Downtown News reported on March 24, 2008:

The issue of park creation and the use of developer fees to fund park projects came before the City Council again last week. On Tuesday, March 18, the Council heard a presentation on the city’s park status from Downtown-based nonprofit The City Project, which in 2006 released a report that mapped and detailed which portions of the city and county are most in need of green space. The organization recently updated its report by breaking down the data by council district. The issue rose to prominence last year after reports that the city Department of Recreation and Parks has failed to properly track and allocate the more than $130 million it has accumulated in Quimby fees, the formal name of the money collected from residential developers, since 2002. Last month, City Controller Laura Chick released an audit lambasting the department’s handling of the program. ‘The ultimate goal is basically just to assist the City Council in their decisions about where to allocate funds,’ said Meagan Yellott, program director for The City Project, ‘and to make sure that as they revise the Quimby ordinance, that those funds actually are allocated based on need.’ The Department is currently working on its own study of the city’s park needs, expected to be finished in approximately a year. In the meantime, The City Project will work with the Bureau of Engineering on an even more detailed district-by-district picture of L.A.’s park facilities.

Download a summary of The City Project recommendations. Download the text only version of the Policy Report in PDF format or order the multimedia report on compact disc online.