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Modeling spatial accessibility to parks: a national study.

Zhang X, Lu H, Holt JB - Int J Health Geogr (2011)

Bottom Line: There are significant differences in the PWD to local parks among states.The PWD to parks provides a consistent platform for evaluating spatial equity of park access and linking with population health outcomes.This new method could be applied to quantify geographic accessibility of other types of services or destinations, such as food, alcohol, and tobacco outlets.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA. gyx8@cdc.gov

ABSTRACT

Background: Parks provide ideal open spaces for leisure-time physical activity and important venues to promote physical activity. The spatial configuration of parks, the number of parks and their spatial distribution across neighborhood areas or local regions, represents the basic park access potential for their residential populations. A new measure of spatial access to parks, population-weighted distance (PWD) to parks, combines the advantages of current park access approaches and incorporates the information processing theory and probability access surface model to more accurately quantify residential population's potential spatial access to parks.

Results: The PWD was constructed at the basic level of US census geography - blocks - using US park and population data. This new measure of population park accessibility was aggregated to census tract, county, state and national levels. On average, US residential populations are expected to travel 6.7 miles to access their local neighborhood parks. There are significant differences in the PWD to local parks among states. The District of Columbia and Connecticut have the best access to local neighborhood parks with PWD of 0.6 miles and 1.8 miles, respectively. Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming have the largest PWDs of 62.0, 37.4, and 32.8 miles, respectively. Rural states in the western and Midwestern US have lower neighborhood park access, while urban states have relatively higher park access.

Conclusions: The PWD to parks provides a consistent platform for evaluating spatial equity of park access and linking with population health outcomes. It could be an informative evaluation tool for health professionals and policy makers. This new method could be applied to quantify geographic accessibility of other types of services or destinations, such as food, alcohol, and tobacco outlets.

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The population-weighted distances to parks by state in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations
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Figure 1: The population-weighted distances to parks by state in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations

Mentions: We calculated the PWDs for the entire US, including 50 states and DC, starting from the census block level and further aggregating to census tract, county, state and nation. Our preliminary results show that people in the US, on average, are expected to travel 6.7 miles to access their local neighborhood parks (table 1). There are significant differences in the PWDs to local parks among states (see Figure 1). The District of Columbia and Connecticut have the best access to local neighborhood parks with the PWDs of 0.6 miles and 1.8 miles, respectively. Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming have the largest PWDs of 62.0, 37.4, and 32.8 miles, respectively. Rural states in the western and Midwestern US have lower neighborhood park access, while urban states have relatively higher park access.


Modeling spatial accessibility to parks: a national study.

Zhang X, Lu H, Holt JB - Int J Health Geogr (2011)

The population-weighted distances to parks by state in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3116453&req=5

Figure 1: The population-weighted distances to parks by state in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations
Mentions: We calculated the PWDs for the entire US, including 50 states and DC, starting from the census block level and further aggregating to census tract, county, state and nation. Our preliminary results show that people in the US, on average, are expected to travel 6.7 miles to access their local neighborhood parks (table 1). There are significant differences in the PWDs to local parks among states (see Figure 1). The District of Columbia and Connecticut have the best access to local neighborhood parks with the PWDs of 0.6 miles and 1.8 miles, respectively. Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming have the largest PWDs of 62.0, 37.4, and 32.8 miles, respectively. Rural states in the western and Midwestern US have lower neighborhood park access, while urban states have relatively higher park access.

Bottom Line: There are significant differences in the PWD to local parks among states.The PWD to parks provides a consistent platform for evaluating spatial equity of park access and linking with population health outcomes.This new method could be applied to quantify geographic accessibility of other types of services or destinations, such as food, alcohol, and tobacco outlets.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA. gyx8@cdc.gov

ABSTRACT

Background: Parks provide ideal open spaces for leisure-time physical activity and important venues to promote physical activity. The spatial configuration of parks, the number of parks and their spatial distribution across neighborhood areas or local regions, represents the basic park access potential for their residential populations. A new measure of spatial access to parks, population-weighted distance (PWD) to parks, combines the advantages of current park access approaches and incorporates the information processing theory and probability access surface model to more accurately quantify residential population's potential spatial access to parks.

Results: The PWD was constructed at the basic level of US census geography - blocks - using US park and population data. This new measure of population park accessibility was aggregated to census tract, county, state and national levels. On average, US residential populations are expected to travel 6.7 miles to access their local neighborhood parks. There are significant differences in the PWD to local parks among states. The District of Columbia and Connecticut have the best access to local neighborhood parks with PWD of 0.6 miles and 1.8 miles, respectively. Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming have the largest PWDs of 62.0, 37.4, and 32.8 miles, respectively. Rural states in the western and Midwestern US have lower neighborhood park access, while urban states have relatively higher park access.

Conclusions: The PWD to parks provides a consistent platform for evaluating spatial equity of park access and linking with population health outcomes. It could be an informative evaluation tool for health professionals and policy makers. This new method could be applied to quantify geographic accessibility of other types of services or destinations, such as food, alcohol, and tobacco outlets.

Show MeSH