The Active City? Disparities in Provision of Urban Public Recreation Resources

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Sports Sciences


Recreation is critical to active living yet few studies have focused on disparities in the provision of recreational programs. We investigate the spatial distribution of public recreational programs in southern California. Findings indicate that more than half of all recreation programs take place away from a formal park site. Multivariate modeling results suggest that cities characterized by low household incomes, low fiscal capacity, minority populations, and multi-family housing are disadvantaged with respect to recreation provisions. Such disparities may increase health risks among populations in such communities. Urban planners and public health advocates should enhance recreation programs in lower-income non-white communities.

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& 2009 Elsevier

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