Parks on Wheels to Deliver Recreational Services to Underserved Areas

It has been over 25 years since urban planning professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris discussed the idea of "mobile parks" to meet recreational needs. The idea is still relevant today.

July 10, 2020, 7:00 AM PDT

By clementkhlau @clemusc


Skaters

Champiofoto / Shutterstock

It takes time and money to acquire land and build new parks. In fact, it typically takes years before new parks can be provided due to financial, bureaucratic and political issues, and other constraints. Mobile recreation may sound strange at first, but it may be an appropriate strategy to meet the urgent need for additional recreational opportunities in underresourced areas. The typical mobile recreation approach involves recreation staff going to parking lots or other underutilized spaces in park-poor neighborhoods and bringing along play resources like basketball hoops, soccer goals, skate ramps and their associated protective gear.

During the current pandemic, extra precautions need to be taken with shared equipment, but staff can also provide non-contact programming, such as hopscotch, and free giveaways, like jump ropes. This article explains how Los Angeles County, El Cajon (California), and Lewisville (Texas) have established and used mobile recreation programs to creatively meet park needs, especially for communities that are lacking in parkland.

Thursday, June 25, 2020 in Parks & Recreation Magazine

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