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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 county in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations
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Figure 2: The population-weighted distances to parks by county in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations

Mentions: Among the urban-rural geographic continuum in the US (table 1 and Figure 2), the PWD to local parks is 1.2 miles for large central metropolitan counties, increases to 3.0 miles for large fringe metropolitan counties, 6.8 miles for medium metropolitan counties, 14.5 miles for small metropolitan counties, 15.0 miles for micropolitan counties, and 22.2 for noncore rural counties. Within the spectrum of metropolitan areas, the PWD increases more than two times from a more-urbanized county to a less-urbanized county. Different subpopulation groups follow similar patterns of local 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 county 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 2: The population-weighted distances to parks by county in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations
Mentions: Among the urban-rural geographic continuum in the US (table 1 and Figure 2), the PWD to local parks is 1.2 miles for large central metropolitan counties, increases to 3.0 miles for large fringe metropolitan counties, 6.8 miles for medium metropolitan counties, 14.5 miles for small metropolitan counties, 15.0 miles for micropolitan counties, and 22.2 for noncore rural counties. Within the spectrum of metropolitan areas, the PWD increases more than two times from a more-urbanized county to a less-urbanized county. Different subpopulation groups follow similar patterns of local 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