Better access to parks to improve population health in Mecklenburg County, NC
1 online resource (232 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Better access to parks can increase our level of physical activity. Increasingly aware of this association and its impact on community health; urban leaders started incorporating access to parks as an indicator of quality of life. However, two studies that evaluate geographic access to parks in Mecklenburg County (NC), each identify different areas of low access. This demonstrates the challenge to quantify the notion of "access". In this study, geographic disparities in park access are evaluated for Mecklenburg County, which encompasses the City of Charlotte. The location of parks managed by the county and those managed by other entities such as homeowner associations (HOA) were collected. Collecting HOA park locations is an important contribution because it represents about 60% of all park locations in the county and that data is left out in all previous studies on this topic. Another contribution is the comparison of access between four modes of transport rather than focusing on access by car. Then, results are shown from surveys that were carried out to understand perceptions on park access from visitors and understand their use of parks for physical exercise. Lastly, online park reviews are presented to show real-time monitoring capabilities of park satisfaction.Results show that neighborhoods with a high percentage of blacks had a lower number of parks per square mile; indicating a form of environmental injustice. Surveys indicate that most visitors came to a park to engage in physical exercise. Finally, I dispute previous studies for their weak evaluation of park access and their use of incomplete data.
ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTHHEALTHY CITIESPARK AND RECREATIONQUALITY OF LIFESPATIAL ACCESS
Geography & Urban Regional Analysis
Delmelle, ElizabethSorensen, JanniBoyd, A. SuzanneShankar, Ramesh
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2016.
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