Mobile Parks and Recreation Fill a Need

Several cities are using mobile park and recreation services to augment existing parks and fill gaps in parks. LA County parks planner Clement Lau describes a sampling of mobile programs.

2 minute read

May 28, 2019, 1:00 PM PDT

By wadams92101

Many neighborhoods are park-starved, which undermines the health of their residents and the development of their children. Focusing only on permanent land-based park space ignores current needs. Actual open space parks can take a decade or more to put into place. Clement Lau, a Los Angeles County planner writes about a nimble approach adopted by several cities. These cities provide park and recreation services to underserved neighborhoods and populations by going mobile. While not intended replace real parks, this approach can mitigate the absence of parks before the root problem is fixed. The cities implementing such an approach include New York; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Cape Coral, Florida; and Boise, Idaho.  The services are provided either as pop-up events, by mobile van, or scheduled programming. Services vary widely and can include hard goods like skateboard ramps, soccer goals, and basketball hoops, or soft goods like yoga classes, coaches, and volunteers to teach and play sports with children, and registration for camps. For example, writes Lau:

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks is planning to launch a mobile recreation program to bring a variety of outdoor activities to children and families in under-served communities.  Each mobile recreation vehicle will provide differently themed activities ranging from sports to drama and dance to STEM activities.  The program will commence on the weekends at four elementary schools in high park need areas.  

 For more detailed information on how cities are filling the gaps in parks, please see the source article. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019 in UrbDeZine

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Acela train at Wilmington station in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Passenger Rail Revival Is Here

For the first time in decades, multiple rail projects are moving forward that could have a transformative impact on train travel in the United States.

May 21, 2024 - Route Fifty

California Governor Gavin Newsom announcing funding for tiny home shelter project in front of quick-build tiny home shelter unit.

California’s Tiny Home Pledge Still on Paper, One Year Later

A promise to fund 1,200 tiny homes for unhoused residents in four cities as a way to rapidly and cost-effectively provide shelter has yet to yield tangible results, but projects are moving ahead in some cities.

May 24 - CALmatters

Residential neighborhood in Colorado with fall foliage and snowy mountains in background.

Colorado Ends Non-Family Occupancy Limits

Local jurisdictions will no longer be able to limit how many unrelated adults can live in a household, a move that supporters say will help lower housing costs and help older adults supplement their incomes and stay in their homes.

May 24 - Strong Towns

A white crosswalk painted by Crosswalk Collective LA in Los Angeles, California.

Guerilla Urbanism Spurs Action From Cities

Rather than take a hostile approach to DIY urbanism, some cities are using guerilla efforts as an opportunity to understand critical infrastructure gaps.

May 24 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.