Data-Driven Effort to Re-envision Conservation and Prioritize Vulnerable Communities

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved the 2022 Parks Needs Assessment Plus (PNA+), which focuses on environmental conservation and restoration, regional recreation, and rural recreation.

2 minute read

December 28, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Clement Lau

Concrete walking and biking trail winding through trees and bushes

Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, a county park in Los Angeles County. | Ansel B / Trail in Kenneth Hahn Park, Los Angeles

On December 6, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the 2022 Parks Needs Assessment Plus (PNA+) Final Report as the county’s 30x30 plan. 30x30 refers to the goal of conserving 30 percent of lands and coastal waters by 2030 to address climate change and protect biodiversity. 

In this article, park planner Clement Lau discusses the PNA+ Final Report which addresses environmental conservation and restoration, regional recreation, and rural recreation. The PNA+ builds upon and supplements the 2016 Parks Needs Assessment (PNA) with data, mapping, and analyses to guide future environmental conservation and restoration efforts across the county as well as information about regional and rural recreation needs. Like the 2016 PNA, the PNA+ involved data collection and analysis, mapping using geographic information system (GIS), coordination with park and trail managing agencies, and public outreach and engagement in partnership with community-based organizations (CBOs).

The PNA+ focuses on the most vulnerable residents living in park-poor, tree-poor urban and rural areas with limited access to local and regional parks and recreational facilities. Vulnerable communities are identified and mapped using data from the Healthy Places Index (HPI), including indicators that address four dimensions: 1) social barriers like poverty and unemployment; 2) transportation barriers like limited access to public transit or automobile; 3) health vulnerability like reduced life expectancy at birth; and 4) environmental vulnerability like a high number of excessive heat days and limited tree canopy.

The PNA+ identifies priority areas for environmental conservation and restoration which form the basis for a 30x30 plan for L.A. County. This strategy reimagines conservation through an equity lens to include both traditional efforts that involve the protection of natural lands and the restoration of degraded lands, especially in lower-income communities of color where vulnerable populations and environmental burdens are concentrated.

To learn more about PNA+, please read the source article.

Thursday, December 15, 2022 in National Recreation and Park Association Open Space Blog

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

View of Palos Verdes Drive along Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes, California at sunset.

Erosion Threatens SoCal Road, Lloyd Wright Icon

The city of Palos Verdes is closing parts of a roadway to cyclists, citing safety concerns as the land underneath moves between 7 and 12 inches per week.

June 23 - Daily Breeze

Faded image of vacant storefront in rural area with American flag stars painteind on windows.

COVID Isn’t to Blame for the Retail Vacancy Crisis

A drop in demand for retail space began well before the seismic shifts of the pandemic.

June 23 - Slate

Heavy New York City traffic headed toward Holland Tunnel in Manhattan.

Judge Rules in Favor of MTA in Congestion Pricing Suit

Advocates of the program are calling on Gov. Hochul to reinstate the program in light of the decision.

June 23 - StreetsBlog NYC

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

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.