“The mere existence of a park does not ensure that a community benefits from it.”

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Imagine having public discussion and community input before city government borrows millions of dollars, to be repaid by your grandchildren, to construct a parks system via the same old network of special interests.

Not here in New Albany, mind you.

Just imagine.

Are public parks an unalloyed good? Not always, by Thaisa Way (Fast Company)

Cities need parks, but not just any parks will do. How they’re designed plays a crucial role in determining whether they benefit surrounding communities.

In cities, access to parks is strongly linked with better health for both people and neighborhoods.

Children suffer higher rates of obesity when they grow up in urban areas without a park in easy reach. Because low-income neighborhoods have fewer green spaces, poorer children are most likely to face other health problems, too, including asthma due to poor air quality.

But access to green space is not the only ingredient in creating healthy communities, my research on urban landscapes shows. Parks are good for people only if people use them.

And that’s a question of design.

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