The public health literature supports the importance of exposure to nature and health, the role of safe parks in promoting active living and the need for deep resident engagement in the creation of healthy communities. There is less evidence on the public health practices and park-based interventions that are most effective in the promotion of parks revitalization and the wide-spread use of parks across the life span. Furthermore, the free resource of parks is critical to health of poor and minority neighborhoods but those parks are often least well maintained. Because large urban parks present in the vast majority of US cities, this is a significant resource, often overlooked by public health practitioners. Thus, there is a critical need to identify ways in which collaboration and resource-sharing can be used to enhance parks as a site of health promotion and disease prevention. This project will advance the ways in which parks advocates from New York City, NY, and Pittsburgh, PA, partner with an academic center to conduct research. In order to launch this research partnership, we propose to work together over the next three years to develop a common language and a common research agenda. Our research hypothesis is: a series of meetings with three groups - parks advocates, community residents and researchers - will permit the development of a shared language about health and parks and a shared research agenda. We believe that the improvement of parks and public spaces will encourage residents to become more physically, socially and civically active, resulting in the reduction in negative health outcomes, especially obesity. Furthermore, the year round increased use of parks and the diversification of activities will, in turn, make these spaces safer and less violence-ridden. We propose to do this by building upon existing relationships among an academic center and three parks advocacy groups: the Columbia Center for Youth Violence Prevention, CLIMB, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (PA), and Partnerships for Parks (NY). Through a series of community forums, key stakeholders meetings and CBPR Advisory Board colloquia, we will develop a common language for our concerns and a common agenda for research. The resulting long-term CBPR agenda will be used to design studies that assess and measure the impact of current and future parks-based interventions developed with community participation. The project will be evaluated by documenting the growth of the CBPR Advisory Board (organizations involved), the strength and quality of the relationships among partners (content of Memoranda of Understanding) and the number of follow up research projects proposed and successfully funded. Our topic and CBPR approach are fueled by the shared interest of parks advocates and researchers in understanding how parks can be part of the nascent national effort to end health disparities. Public Health Relevance: This project is relevant to public health because it will help develop ways in which a publicly available resource - parks - can be used to promote health at the neighborhood level. Efforts geared at the individual to help reduce obesity or prevent violence are important but not sufficient to address these two health problems. This project is relevant to all the people served by the national system of large urban parks. This project has relevance for the national campaign against obesity, for active living, against violence, and for the elimination of health disparities.

Public Health Relevance

This project is relevant to public health because it will help develop ways in which a publicly available resource - parks - can be used to promote health at the neighborhood level. Efforts geared at the individual to help reduce obesity or prevent violence are important but not sufficient to address these two health problems. This project is relevant to all the people served by the national system of large urban parks. This project has relevance for the national campaign against obesity, for active living, against violence, and for the elimination of health disparities.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Conference--Cooperative Agreements (U13)
Project #
1U13HD071388-01
Application #
8235453
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-M (50))
Program Officer
White, Della
Project Start
2012-01-01
Project End
2014-12-31
Budget Start
2012-01-01
Budget End
2012-12-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$30,000
Indirect Cost
Name
Columbia University (N.Y.)
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
621889815
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10032