A comparison of park access with park need for children: A case study in Cache County, Utah

Shuolei Chen, Keith M. Christensen, Shujuan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Parks are acknowledged as assets for children, but children's access to parks and their quality is often inequitable. Previous studies have focused on disparities in the spatial distribution of parks. The purpose of this study is to explore park access by both the distribution and the quality of parks in relation to children's potential need. This study compared a broader assessment of park access, incorporating both proximity and quality with an index of park need rather than simple population size or a single measure of socio-economic status (SES). While proximity and quality were assessed by Network Analysis and PARK tool respectively, the index of park need was identified through multiple socio-demographic factors and co-variables. Comparison between the measures was both statistical and graphical. The statistical analysis, using multiple linear regression, determined the extent that park access correlated with park need. The graphical analysis identified spatial gaps between the measures. A protocol was built to increase park proximity and quality within these gaps to improve children's park access and meet their potential need for parks. The results of the comparison showed that park need was positively associated with park access to a significant extent (p <.001) accounting for 56% of the relationship. In the field of landscape and urban planning, this study is a model for examining broader park access and potential park need among children, ultimately improving their access to park proximity and quality, which addresses the corresponding park need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
StatePublished - Jul 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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