June 11, 2020
Parks are an Essential Business
APA Central Ohio Webinar Series
COVID-19 has brought greater clarity to what is “essential” in our daily existence. In the era of social distancing and sheltering in place, we are all discovering what many of us already knew—that parks and trails are an essential business. More than ever our communities are relying on these critical green resources as means of transportation, to get needed fresh air and exercise, and as a mechanism for aiding mental health.
This reality has presented both short term and long-term challenges. More immediately, cities and park systems have been faced with how to allow park and trail usage while maintaining safe social distance. What has also come into focus is the stark reality that social access to these valued and necessary community assets is inequitable. Many neighborhoods not only lack adequate parks and trails, but they also have uneven access to the parks and trails that do exist. The lack of sidewalks, the presence of heavy traffic, the prevalence of crime, and the lack of shade are but a few conditions that prevent equitable access.
It is no longer possible to ignore these systemic issues. This webinar will highlight local, regional and national examples of how communities are addressing both of these short-term and long-term challenges. We will then showcase current initiatives in Columbus that, if properly coordinated and implemented, can ensure that Central Ohio provides equitable social access to parks and trails for all of its citizens.
Andrew Overbeck AICP, Principal Planner MKSK
Chris Hermann AICP, Principal Planner MKSK
This session is free and worth 1.0 CM credits.