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Adopting an Intersectional Approach to Parks Planning

This approach makes sense because parks are not isolated spaces, and park planning cannot be done effectively or holistically without considering the social, economic, physical, and political context in which parks are located.
January 25, 2021, 11am PST | clementkhlau | @clemusc
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Los Angeles, California
Michael Rosebrock

Have you heard of "intersectional planning" as it relates to parks and recreation? Essentially, the term refers to "the integration between planning for green spaces and for other elements, such as transportation, housing, and water management," and is an approach that recognizes "parks and open space as closely connected with their neighborhoods and rely on community-driven plans to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders" (Jennings, et al. 2019).

In this article, Los Angeles County planner Clement Lau argues that park planners must think beyond park boundaries, see the big picture, and plan with interconnections in mind. Specifically, Lau focuses on the unincorporated community of West Athens-Westmont and explains how planning for parks relates to other quality of life issues like safety, land use, and transportation which affect how and whether residents travel to and use existing and future parks. This important work ties in with the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, which is a nationwide movement to ensure that everyone has safe access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk and is explained in a previous post, "A 10-Minute Walk to A Park for Your Health and Well-Being." For an overview of park planning and implementation efforts in West Athens-Westmont, also check out this video.          


Jennings V, Browning M, Rigolon, A (2019) Urban Green Spaces: Public Health and Sustainability in the United States. Springer, Switzerland.

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Published on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 in Parks & Rec Business
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