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Uneven Access and Underuse of Ecological Amenities in Urban Parks of the Río Piedras Watershed

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Santiago, Luis E.; Verdejo Ortiz, Julio C.; Santiago-Bartolomei, Raul; Melendez-Ackerman, Elvia J.; Garcia-Montiel, Diana C.
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 19
Date: 2014
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9338
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): watersheds
Abstract: "The association between consumption of ecological amenities in a park setting and improved physical and mental health substantiates the need for improved accessibility to green areas in lower-income neighborhoods. We measured green area accessibility, considering income variation, and park use in a densely populated tropical urban watershed. Park use was explored with 442 in-person interviews, and U.S. Census and Puerto Rico Commonwealth data were used to measure accessibility. Nearly 20% of residents earning ? $15,000 lived within park service areas with the highest crime incidence in the region, whereas 90% of those earning > $75,000 lived within park service areas with lower crime rates. Innovative nonexclusionary activities such as growing vegetable gardens are needed to attract lower-income residents and increase their sense of safety in urban parks."

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