Investing in Equitable Urban Park Systems: Emerging Funding Strategies and Tools

Report | Economic Development
Investing in Equitable Urban Park Systems: Emerging Funding Strategies and Tools

National Research Initiative for Funding Parks and Green Infrastructure in Low-Income Communities

City Parks Alliance is leading a national initiative to research, curate, and disseminate innovative strategies and models for funding parks and green infrastructure in low-income communities. The goal is to elevate replicable strategies that repurpose existing funding, partnerships that offer shared funding opportunities, and models that tap new funding sources. In addition, we are identifying approaches by cities to focus on the equity implications of park investment including community engagement, and transparent, data-driven resource distribution.

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 to leverage funding for parks in low-income communities. We have also partnered with Groundwork USA to identify community pre-conditions for using these 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. This work is made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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