Parks and Economic Development

Parks and Economic Development

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Parks and open space are not just beautiful, they are economically beneficial, too. But parks advocates and planners must be able to demonstrate that open spaces and recreational areas contribute to the community's economic vitality before local officials will lend their support. Securing and keeping political and financial support often requires repositioning a proposed project or facility in the minds of elected officials and other decision makers. This report explains how to measure and report the positive economic impact of parks and open space on the financial health of local businesses and government. Impact studies, graphs, charts, and other aids included in the report show how these contributions more than compensate for local tax dollars spent on acquiring, upgrading, and maintaining parks and other outdoor recreational areas. For example, parks planners can use a variety of economic impact measures, including sales, personal income, and employment, to show the positive economic effect on a community of visitors to parks and related attractions. Repositioning is a difficult, long-term process that requires changing entrenched public and bureaucratic attitudes and practices. Nonetheless, repositioning parks issuesa€”aligning them with local economic development effortsa€”is both necessary and feasible. Once linked politically and psychologically with economic vitality and development, parks and open space projects are far more likely to find favor and sustained support from both elected officials and the general public. The report describes three different strategies that parks planners and agencies may use, alone or in combination, to reposition parks issues. This report is sponsored in part by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the American Planning Association's City Parks Forum. It is the second in a series of three reports by the City Parks Forum. The first report is Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PAS 497/498) by Alexander Garvin.Nonetheless, repositioning parks issuesa€”aligning them with local economic development effortsa€”is both necessary and feasible.

Title:Parks and Economic Development
Author:John L. Crompton
Publisher:Amer Planning Assn - 2001


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