The Impact of Socioeconomic Factors on Park Quality and Accessibility within the Kalamazoo City Park System
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Trees and greenspace provide numerous environmental services. The abundance and quality of greenspace in urban cities is impacted by socioeconomics. I examined six parks within the City of Kalamazoo, Michigan U.S.A. to assess the impact of socioeconomics on park features. I analyzed tree size, park defacement, tree hazards, noise level, accessibility, and feature hazards within each park. The results indicate that the number of hazards and park defacement was higher in low socioeconomic parks when compared to high socioeconomic parks. This study shows that individuals in high socioeconomic areas have increased access to environmental services that parks provide than individuals in low socioeconomic areas. Parks provide access to greenspace within cities all over the world, and it is important to examine the impact of socioeconomic factors impact on the quality and accessibility of greenspace. I hypothesized that high socioeconomic parks would have more tree species diversity, less tree hazards, and more safe and accessible features compared to low socioeconomic parks. The impacts of socioeconomics on greenspace distribution and quality is important to keep in mind when making urban planning decisions due to the numerous benefits that greenspace provides.