January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 18

RESEARCH
A Framework for Assessing Equitable
Health Outcomes of Parks
By Kevin Roth
T
he Health Benefits of Parks and Their Economic Impacts: A Review of the
Literature report is the first of a series of resources resulting from
a collaboration between NRPA and the Urban Institute that highlight
a health-based case for parks, with a focus on the resulting
economic value. In mid-December, NRPA and Urban Institute released the
next resource: A Framework for Assessing Equitable Health Outcomes of Parks. The
comprehensive report demonstrates how public data establishes the ways parks
promote greater well-being across four domains of health: physical, mental,
social and environmental. The framework also provides guidance on how to
communicate the economic value resulting from these benefits (e.g., lower
healthcare and insurance costs, increased productivity due to fewer sick days).
The framework provides five steps
for assessing the health impacts of
parks and their economic impacts:
Step 1: Identify park characteristics.
Parks vary greatly, reflecting the
unique needs and desires of the populations
they serve. Perhaps they are
where community members walk for
improved well-being, or are a place
to host a festival or family cookout.
Two key factors to consider are accessibility
(including
the
quantity
and
quality of transportation routes
to/from the park) and the size and
amenities provided at the park.
Step 2: Examine who has access.
Research shows that park equity remains
a challenge in communities
across the United States, including
100 million people who do not reside
within a 10-minute walk of a
single park and recreation amenity.
Inequitable access perpetuates the
uneven distribution of the health
and wellness benefits from parks.
The report considers questions to
frame how a park system serves the
community and if there are gaps in
design or programming:
* How do different people get to
18 Parks & Recreation |
J ANUAR Y 2 0 2 3
parks, and how do they do so?
* How do different people use and
benefit from parks?
* How do underlying health issues
that parks can help address vary
across people and population
groups? Are the outcomes mirrored
in subpopulations?
Step 3: Select and measure
health outcomes. The framework
addresses health outcomes for four
dimensions of health:
* Physical health (including increased
physical activity and improved
physical health outcomes)
* Mental health (including increased
sense of well-being and decreased
use of mental health services)
(including
* Social health
increased
community attachment
and increased public safety)
* Environmental health (including
increased climate resiliency and
improved environmental quality)
For each outcome, the framework
provides a definition, key metrics,
what the
data may show about
parks' contributions, a data snapshot
and examples of the metrics in use.
Step 4: Estimate economic
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
benefits. The framework provides
examples of economic measures
developed for a variety of studies.
It is critical to pay attention to who
receives these benefits, and how, as
they can inform best opportunities
for future park investments.
Step 5: Drive equity through
action steps. The final step of the
framework highlights how to use
this information to drive greater
park and health equity. Among the
key actions:
* Identify the disparities in how
people access your park system
and champion efforts to combat
inequities.
* Forge data-sharing agreements
with your local hospitals and
healthcare organizations.
* Liaise with your local hospitals
and healthcare organizations as
they conduct their community
health needs assessment.
* Learn and share local histories to
elevate more intentional and comprehensive
community priorities.
* Keep informed of health equity
measures, data and assessments.
Using the framework helps demonstrate
the health contributions of
park systems quantitatively and qualitatively.
The next step in the NRPA/
Urban Institute collaboration is to
build resources that make this framework
accessible to park and recreation
professionals and advocates.
We will have more to share on those
efforts later this year.
Kevin Roth is Vice President of Research,
Evaluation and Technology at NRPA
(kroth@nrpa.org).

January 2023 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2023 - Parks & Recreation

January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 2
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 3
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 4
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 5
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 6
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 7
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 8
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 9
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 10
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 11
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 12
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 13
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 15
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 16
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 17
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 18
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 19
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 20
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 21
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 49
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 50
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 51
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 54
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 55
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 56
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com