Built Environment

San Diego, CA
United States

San Diego Promise Zone Healthy Communities Working Group City of San Diego, County of San Diego 

Addressing inequities in San Diego’s public parks through an analysis of green space accessibility and roadway safety. 

Public green spaces are distributed inequitably across the city of San Diego. Hispanic and Latinx residents and residents with low incomes have 54 percent and 55 percent less access to park space, respectively, compared with the median city resident—and research demonstrates that lack of access to these spaces has an adverse effect on overall quality of life. To better understand the barriers that prevent many residents from accessing these spaces, Circulate San Diego has proposed a three-pronged analysis to identify 1) the conditions responsible for limiting access to existing public green space; 2) locations that need additional public green space; and 3) quick-build treatments the city can implement to improve safety to existing and increase access to new public green space. City departments and nonprofit partners will be valuable resources and partners in this work. 

Circulate San Diego will begin its research by mapping and analyzing existing conditions, identifying two areas within the San Diego Promise Zone (SDPZ) with the greatest need for infrastructure improvements to existing public green space and the greatest need for new public green space. The next phase will focus on engaging community members with lived experience through the administration of a bilingual survey, walk audits, and other interactive activities that will allow SDPZ residents to voice their concerns regarding transportation infrastructure, access to public green space, and health equity. The findings from these two phases will allow Circulate San Diego to identify potential treatments and draft city placemaking permit applications. Circulate San Diego will make the data, project tools, and replicable methodologies and tools available to nonprofit partners for data gathering, analysis, and engagement activities as they continue their important work of revitalizing and empowering neighborhoods. 

Relevant city departments will also be able to reference report findings, placemaking applications, and other outputs to help prioritize investments to improve roadway safety and introduce new public green space on city-owned parcels. By identifying potential treatments and locations, this project will make progress toward the city’s longer-term goals of achieving health equity and reducing existing segregation, fragmentation, and isolation.