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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 PWD-based relative park spatial accessibility to parks by census tract in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations Note: census tract level PWD was classified into five groups according to their quintiles by NCHS county level urban-rural classification scheme: 1) large central metro, 2) large fringe metro, 3) medium metro, 4) small metro, 5) micropolitan, and 6) non-core rural counties.
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Figure 3: The PWD-based relative park spatial accessibility to parks by census tract in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations Note: census tract level PWD was classified into five groups according to their quintiles by NCHS county level urban-rural classification scheme: 1) large central metro, 2) large fringe metro, 3) medium metro, 4) small metro, 5) micropolitan, and 6) non-core rural counties.

Mentions: Figures 2 and 3 depict the county and census tract level PWDs to parks in the US. Large metropolitan areas and highly urbanized neighborhoods have significantly better spatial access to parks. A comparison between the shortest distances to the nearest park and the PWDs to local nearest seven parks show that these two measures are strongly correlated, especially in large metropolitan areas. The Pearson's correlation coefficients are 0.93 for US, 0.92 for large central metro, 0.94 for large fringe metro, 0.91 for medium metro, 0.86 for small metro and micropolitan areas and 0.93 for noncore rural areas. On the other hand, there are significant differences among these two distance measures, from 0.4 miles in central metropolitan counties to 7.6 miles in rural counties (see table 2). These differences could make a significant impact on the actual population park access and use. Our PWD measure avoids the potential bias associated with the shortest distance measure to the nearest park and provides a more realistic picture of population potential spatial access to parks.


Modeling spatial accessibility to parks: a national study.

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

The PWD-based relative park spatial accessibility to parks by census tract in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations Note: census tract level PWD was classified into five groups according to their quintiles by NCHS county level urban-rural classification scheme: 1) large central metro, 2) large fringe metro, 3) medium metro, 4) small metro, 5) micropolitan, and 6) non-core rural counties.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 3: The PWD-based relative park spatial accessibility to parks by census tract in the U.S. Darker green means better potential spatial access to parks for local residential populations Note: census tract level PWD was classified into five groups according to their quintiles by NCHS county level urban-rural classification scheme: 1) large central metro, 2) large fringe metro, 3) medium metro, 4) small metro, 5) micropolitan, and 6) non-core rural counties.
Mentions: Figures 2 and 3 depict the county and census tract level PWDs to parks in the US. Large metropolitan areas and highly urbanized neighborhoods have significantly better spatial access to parks. A comparison between the shortest distances to the nearest park and the PWDs to local nearest seven parks show that these two measures are strongly correlated, especially in large metropolitan areas. The Pearson's correlation coefficients are 0.93 for US, 0.92 for large central metro, 0.94 for large fringe metro, 0.91 for medium metro, 0.86 for small metro and micropolitan areas and 0.93 for noncore rural areas. On the other hand, there are significant differences among these two distance measures, from 0.4 miles in central metropolitan counties to 7.6 miles in rural counties (see table 2). These differences could make a significant impact on the actual population park access and use. Our PWD measure avoids the potential bias associated with the shortest distance measure to the nearest park and provides a more realistic picture of population potential spatial access to parks.

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