September 2018 - Parks & Recreation - 62

SOCIAL EQUITY

Building More Inclusive, Healthy Places
By Stephanie Gidigbi

W

e know that place matters and can have long-term effects
on the well-being and health of a person, shaping his or
her life expectancy and social economic mobility. Travel
anywhere in America and you can tell a lot about the social cohesion of a community based on its public spaces. Research shows
that public spaces can foster greater tolerance, improve public health and
strongly influence a person's sense of social value and belonging. The intentionality of how you plan, design and measure for these outcomes is
critical for building more inclusive and healthy places.

The Framework
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Gehl Institute have partnered to develop a framework for
considering inclusion and health in

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the design and programing of public spaces. The framework is a comprehensive guide that includes a set
of measurable indicators centered
around four central principles of

| S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 | W W W. PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N . O R G

inclusion and health equity within
the context of public space. These
principles focus on community
context, the process that shapes
public spaces, design and program,
and how to sustain the dynamic
and interconnected drivers that impact communities. The framework
supports a working definition of
inclusion as an outcome, a process
and a tool for change.
The framework is built around
four guiding principles for shaping
and assessing public space projects.
Only one principle addresses physical



September 2018 - Parks & Recreation

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