New Initiative Seeks to Address L.A. Parks Disparity

Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa launched the city's "50 Parks Initiative," a public-private partnership that plans to add over 170 acres of new park space throughout the city's "park-poor population-dense" neighborhoods.
August 27, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Joe Linton details Mayor Villaraigosa's ambitious initiative to build 50 new parks throughout the city, which was launched last Thursday with the grand opening of two new parks in South Los Angeles built on sites formerly occupied by dilapidated housing.

"Despite city budget shortfalls, the down economy presented an important window for acquiring land," reports Linton. "Under the city charter, park land  acquired is permanently dedicated to park uses.  [Recreation and Parks Commission President] Sanders touted these new acquisitions as an important opportunity to ending the injustice of unequal park distribution, with fewer facilities in L.A.'s densest communities of color."

According to a city press release, "Locations for the 50 Parks Initiative were determined by analyzing key demographic statistics including population density, median household income, number and percentage of residents in poverty, and the number of existing parks in a half-mile radius."

"The city plans to have all fifty new park sites acquired by next summer when Villagraigosa's completes his term," notes Linton. "The projects are in various states – a few completed, some acquired, some funded, and some where funding is anticipated."

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Published on Friday, August 24, 2012 in Streetsblog LA
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