Building for Health & Well-Being

Mobilizing for Better Health through Prototyping Park Infrastructure

Fall Conference Proceedings

Author(s): Nils Gore & Shannon Criss

This paper discusses lessons learned regarding theimprovement of public parks in Kansas City, Kansas(KCK) in Wyandotte County, a low-income communityand home to a population (largely made up ofHispanic, African American and refugee residents)with limited healthcare resources, underemployment,a large number of under-utilized parks, openspaces, neglected public ways, and abandoned,deteriorating buildings. Wyandotte County ranksat the bottom in numerous health and povertyindicators with the population at 50% pre-diabeticand with 34% of adults considered sedentary. Newideas on the creation of healthy communities areemerging, but the means to engage citizens througha participatory process, equitably involving communitymembers, organizational representatives andpartners in all aspects of the evaluation process islacking. This project has developed methodologiesto both enhance the understanding of the given phenomenonof current use and conditions of the parks,and integrate the knowledge gained with specificactions to improve the health and well-being of thecommunity members involved.

Volume Editors
Billie Faircloth, Howard Frumkin & Sara Jensen Carr