Planning for environmental justice in an urban national park
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Urban national parks were designed in the 1970s to bring nature and recreational opportunities to socio-economically disadvantaged communities in the USA. Using the theoretical frame of environmental justice, this paper discusses findings of a recent survey of visitors to Los Angeles' Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area - the United States' largest urban national park. Findings show park visitors were predominantly white, affluent, and lived nearby. People of colour travelled further, were significantly less likely to be return visitors, and were less inclined to use the park for active recreation. Seemingly, this park fails to meet the needs of the disadvantaged urban communities for whom it was created, a problem that may also affect other parks in the United States and potentially parks in other countries. Park planners and managers can take practical steps to increase accessibility to this park for people of colour and low-income earners, and should monitor other parks for patterns of ethno-racially differentiated access and utilisation.
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management
© 2009 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Natural Resource Management
Recreation, Leisure and Tourism Geography