Documenting the Benefits of City Parks and Greenspace
City Parks Alliance and partners are documenting the many benefits of parks and greenspace to equitable, healthy, resilient, and economically competitive cities. We are exploring the critical emerging issues cities face with economists, engineers, policy experts, advocates and practitioners with a focus on delivering practical solutions for cities and their residents.
City Parks Alliance Research Partners
City Parks Alliance and partners are leading innovative research on the role of urban parks in equitable, healthy, resilient, and engaged communities and cities that are economically competitive.
Georgia Institute of Technology – School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Parks featured in the City Parks: America’s New Infrastructure video series and other reports are part of a multi-year study conducted by Georgia Tech researchers into the economic benefits of U.S. infrastructure investments in collaboration with more than 50 university, industry, and government partners. The video series is sponsored by The Speedwell Foundation.
The Red Fields to Green Fields National Research Program, led by Georgia Tech Research Institute in partnership with the City Parks Alliance, evaluated the potential impacts of converting financially and/or physically distressed commercial real estate to green space and parks, including the benefit of creating jobs to rebuild urban infrastructure systems. The research is sponsored by The Speedwell Foundation.
We have partnered with Groundwork USA to identify community pre-conditions for pursuing park and green infrastructure funding strategies successfully and ensuring real ownership and health equity gains for long-term residents. The analysis builds on City Parks Alliance’s ongoing research into the equitable resource distribution strategies of urban park and recreation agencies across the county with Urban Institute.
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
In the summer of 2015, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and City Parks Alliance researched innovative techniques and strategies to address funding gaps for capital and maintenance of neighborhood park systems. Our report is a culmination of this work and is based on an extensive literature review and interviews with park professionals from eleven urban park systems: Boulder, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; and Toronto, Ontario.
The RAND Corporation and City Parks Alliance—with help from The Trust for Public Land and funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute—led a National Study of Neighborhood Parks to identify to what degree neighborhood parks in America’s cities encourage people to be physically active.
Over a two-year period, from 2014 to 2016, data collectors observed park design and behaviors at 174 neighborhood parks in 25 cities across the country.
Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land and City Parks Alliance collaborated on The Field Guide for Parks and Creative Placemaking, funded in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Creative placemaking is a cooperative, community-based process using arts and cultural expression to create or rejuvenate parks and open spaces, deepening the sense of place parks inspire and building community pride. The Field Guide is intended to connect creative placemaking with parks and open spaces.
We have partnered with the Urban Institute to conduct a research scan of park funding strategies, with a particular focus on understanding how equity relates to funding decisions and how park leaders and communities can capitalize on parks’ many benefits. The research is part of a City Parks Alliance national initiative to research, curate and disseminate innovative strategies and models for funding parks and green infrastructure.