This “toolkit”/compilation of resources is a work in progress. It is meant to be a guide to support communities often most marginalized from decision-making on public resources, particularly parks and recreational resources (low-income people of color communities), in order to ensure racial equity, access, and participation. We are posting it here for anyone to provide feedback and to suggest additional resources.
Here is a map of local city parks. It will be important to take a systematic look at where parks are located, the history of funding, maintenance, upgrade, or neglect of the city’s park, and the demographic composition of the communities surrounding these parks.
All of the articles below examine in some way the relationship between spatial access—defined as perceived, technical, cultural—to green spaces and athletic fields, and the health, cohesion, and well-being of minority and low-income communities. Overall there is a strong trend not only toward the importance of public space/parks for physical and social well-being in these communities, but toward community participation and investment in determining the use, maintenance, funding, and planning for these parks. To this end we have established a resource tool kit for community participation in park planning.
The Race and Recreation Studio is focused on producing research and other tools useful to communities in Durham, particularly of low-income people of color, who are most directly affected by urban park funding inequities that may be exacerbated in the context of increasing fiscal austerity, downtown gentrification, and attraction to private funding and management. This studio aims to promote critical dialogue about historical and contemporary forms of racial marginalization in the area of parks and recreation.