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Access to Parks and Open Space
The Access to Parks and Open Space indicator measures the percentage of a neighborhood’s population within a half mile (10 minute walk) of a park. Evidence suggests that built environments such as sidewalks, parks, trails, and neighborhood safety are associated with increased physical activity, and several studies have noted that high-quality built environments are associated with increased physical activity and lower obesity rates while insufficient or low-quality built environments are linked to inadequate levels of PA and increased obesity rates. Studies also find links between increased time outdoors and decreased attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms. Trees and green space in parks also help mitigate negative climate issues by lowering air temperature, improving air quality by removing pollutants, and absorbing and cleaning water run-off from impervious surfaces. Found in the Natural Areas domain, the Access to Parks and Open Space indicator is also relevant to the Economic Health, Social Cohesion, Health Systems and Public Safety, Environmental Hazards, and Neighborhood Characteristics domains. Data for the Access to Parks and Open Space indicator is derived from the City of Birmingham parks database and U.S. Census.