Seven Cities Join Trust for Public Land in Promoting Park Equity
Trust for Public Land (TPL) welcomes a second cohort of U.S. cities to receive support from the 10-Minute Walk® Park Equity Accelerator. Boston, Baton Rouge and Dallas are among the seven cities joining the program, bringing the total number of cities in the program to 13.
Established with The JPB Foundation’s support in 2017, TPL’s 10-Minute Walk program currently works with over 300 mayors and city leaders across 50 states, plus Washington, DC, to close the park equity gap. The 10-Minute Walk program partners with cities to address their most urgent needs around health, resilience, environmental protection, economic development and community building through parks. The Park Equity Accelerator brings technical assistance, financial resources, learning and evaluation, and policy planning support to participating cities.
“Parks are an important component to building and maintaining healthy communities, yet over 100 million people in the U.S, including 28 million children, do not have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home,” said Bianca Shulaker, Associate Vice President of TPL’s 10-Minute Walk program. “Despite the proven health, climate and community benefits that come with having a park close to home, systemic inequities in both park access and quality persist across the country. As an organization whose mission is to connect everyone with the joys of the outdoors, programs like the Park Equity Accelerator are critical to expanding access to nature.”
The second round of 10-Minute Walk Park Equity Accelerator cities were selected based on their commitment to advancing local park goals; readiness to explore, experiment with, and adopt new strategies or approaches; and potential to advance field understanding around a common issue or challenge. The cities, and their area of focus are:
- Baton Rouge, LA: Assessing the city’s plan of government and existing policies to identify opportunities to update or create policies that advance park equity.
- Boston, MA: Partnering with the Boston Housing Authority to inventory parks on BHA properties and developing a plan for improving park access/equity at these sites.
- Cincinnati, OH: Developing a model for the city to use data to drive equitable park investment and exploring revenue streams for additional park funding.
- Dallas, TX: Developing maintenance and stewardship models for newly-developed parks built on vacant or under-utilized parcels of land.
- Pittsburgh, PA: Constructing urban land conservation models that connect city greenways.
- Raleigh, NC: Creating a model that uses data to drive equitable park investment and creating partnerships with developers to enhance park access.
- Washington, DC: Helping the city develop a systematic approach to park maintenance.
Innovative Mayors like the park champions leading these seven cities recognize the critical role parks and greenspace can play in advancing health, climate, and neighborhood revitalization. They also acknowledge an urgent need to ensure that the many important benefits parks provide can be enjoyed equally among all residents.
“We understand that parks, trails, and community centers are not just nice-to-have amenities; they are essential elements of city-building,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “Raleigh is committed to advancing equity in our park system because when we create public spaces that are accessible to all, that foster a true sense of belonging, we create the opportunity for people of all different backgrounds to come together, overcome our differences, and ultimately begin to find common ground.”
To learn more about Trust for Public Land’s 10-Minute Walk program, please visit www.10minutewalk.org.