Park quality in racial/ethnic minority neighborhoods

Richard R. Suminski, Erin K. Connolly, Linda E. May, Jason Wasserman, Norma Olvera, Rebecca E. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Public spending on parks in racial/ethnic minority areas lags behind spending in more affluent areas Limited resources could result in poor quality parks in turn creating additional barriers to physical activity However, the quality of parks in these areas has not been adequately investigated The purpose of this study was to conduct an empirical examination of the associations between the quality of park characteristics and the demographics of residents living around the park The Physical Activity Resource Assessment instrument was used to evaluate the quantity and quality of features and amenities in 68 urban parks The U.S Census 2010 data were used to describe the populations residing in the areas surrounding the parks Results indicated that parks in areas with higher percentages of racial/ethnic minorities had poorer quality features and amenities (p<0.01) These associations remained significant after controlling for the effects of park size and median income It was concluded that park quality varied systematically with the racial/ethnic composition of the neighborhoods surrounding the parks These results warrant future investigation as to why park quality is lower in racial/ethnic minority neighborhoods and how such a disparity affects physical activity

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Justice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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