Coronavirus Will Force a National Dialogue on Our Relationship with Parks and Public Spaces and their Role as Essential Civic Infrastructure

Coronavirus Will Force a National Dialogue on Our Relationship with Parks and Public Spaces and their Role as Essential Civic Infrastructure

Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of City Parks Alliance, issued the following statement today in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic:

“As the country responds to COVID-19, we are all adapting to changes in our lifestyles, and in our communities. To help stop the spread of the virus many of our institutions are closed, and we are following the guidelines from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and our local authorities. We may be keeping at least six feet away from others and avoiding groups but we are learning about our shared need to remain socially connected with each other and nature.”

Parks Help Us Heal

“Parks and greenspace are more essential now than ever, providing much-needed solace and helping people cope with the uncertainty of the health crisis. Where safely allowed, people are finding time outside in city parks and on trails is sustaining our physical and mental health. When we emerge from this health crisis, parks and public spaces will help us heal together just as they have following other national and local tragedies.”

A Spotlight on Equity

“City parks and recreational facilities are at the center of resilient and equitable cities and the recent closure of many schools, offices, libraries, museums, and other civic institutions is demonstrating stark inequities in many communities. Parks and green infrastructure – especially in low-income communities where their many benefits are often most needed – is often limited, leaving many residents without access to quality parks, recreational opportunities, and other positive environmental conditions. To help our communities recover, cities must invest equitably in parks and recreation facilities, redressing decades-long underinvestment.”

Parks are Infrastructure

“Parks and greenspace must be considered vital civic infrastructure in any federal disaster or infrastructure aid packages. Investments in city parks yield important returns helping address some of our greatest urban challenges-from stormwater management and flood prevention to reducing public health costs, economic revitalization, and job growth.”

“Thank you to all the park and recreation agencies who help build, program, and maintain our city parks and public spaces; the advocacy groups, conservancies, and funders who bring much-needed resources and community stewardship; the designers who imagine these important parts of our urban infrastructure into existence as inviting and accessible places; and the mayors and other leaders who understand the true potential of city parks and recreation and prioritize them in their communities.”


Media Inquiry Contact:

Tom McCann
Director of Communications and Marketing
[email protected]
202-831- 4619


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