Exploring the distribution of park availability, features, and quality across Kansas City, Missouri by income and race/ethnicity: An environmental justice investigation

Katherine B. Vaughan, Andrew T. Kaczynski, Sonja A.Wilhelm Stanis, Gina M. Besenyi, Ryan Bergstrom, Katie M. Heinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Parks are key community assets for physical activity, but some evidence suggests these resources are not equitably distributed. Purpose This study examined disparities by income and race/ethnicity in the availability, features, and quality of parks across Kansas City, Missouri. Methods All parks and census tracts (CTs) were mapped using geographical information systems, and park features and quality were determined via audits. Multivariate analyses of covariance analyzed differences in park availability, features, and quality across low-, medium-, and high-income and race/ethnicity CT tertiles. Results Low-income CTs contained significantly more parks, but also had fewer parks with playgrounds and more quality concerns per park. High minority CTs had more parks with basketball courts, but fewer parks with trails. Medium-income CTs contained more aesthetic features per park. Conclusions Future research should examine policies that contribute to and that might rectify disparities in park features and quality, especially in low-income and high minority areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S28-S38
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume45
Issue numberSUPPL.1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This study was supported by funding from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, as well as Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We wish to acknowledge the assistance of three knowledgeable reviewers who provided valuable feedback on an earlier draft of this paper.

Keywords

  • Built environment
  • Environmental justices
  • Income
  • Parks
  • Physical activity
  • Race/ethnicity

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