Data-Driven Strategies for Equitable Urban Park Investment

10/27/2020 3 p.m. EDT

Session Type:  Education Session (1 hour)

Track: Equity and Inclusion


Historic disinvestment has left many low-income communities and communities of color without access to quality parks and recreation opportunities. To ensure more equitable funding approaches and to address the backlog created by historic disinvestment, a number of cities are beginning to establish data-driven equity criteria to guide park investment. City Parks Alliance surveyed six cities and one urban county — Detroit, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Los Angeles County — that have established equity criteria and are now using that criteria to prioritize their capital, operating and programming investments. Through thoughtful data analysis and proactive community engagement, these municipalities are assessing community needs, and using that assessment to design new parks and improve existing ones. City Parks Alliance and its city representatives will present their research findings, including data-sets used, policies enacted and best practices for replication.


Learning Outcomes:

Compare data collection methods used by each city and then determine the best approach to develop data driven equity criteria appropriate for their own city’s needs.

Discuss how city officials and partners engaged all sectors of the community for buy-in to the equity funding plan and then will determine strategies for their own community.

Be prepared to use the five best practices developed by City Parks Alliance’s study to incorporate data driven equity methodology into practice for their own city.



Julie Waterman

Advocacy Director, City Parks Alliance

Julie Waterman has 20 years of experience with prestigious nonprofit conservation and family planning organizations, focusing on advocacy, coalition building, board management, fundraising and public relations.

Jayne Miller

Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Parks Conservancy

Mitchell Silver

NYC (New York) Department of Parks and Recreation

Meagan Elliot

Detroit (Michigan) Parks and Recreation Division

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