Masters Thesis

The Curious Case of Park Space: An Analysis of Public Parks in Santa Ana, Ca

Public parks are important urban resources that promote health, enrich communities, and enhance the local environment. However, the literature on public parks suggests that these resources are not always equitably distributed. Research has shown that communities of color, characterized with low-household incomes and limited political weight, often lack adequate public park opportunities when compared to their more affluent counterparts. Empirical cases allude to recurrent themes within the framework of environmental justice as the drivers inducing the shortage of public parks in many marginalized communities. the city of Santa Ana, California is a predominantly Hispanic community with a documented shortage of public parks. Using this city as a case study site, this study will implement a mix-method approach to address several questions about the inequitable distributions of public parks. through in-depth archival research of park provisions, along with interviews of advocates and decision-makers, and cartographic analysis this study will attempt to answer the following questions. First, why is Santa Ana so park-poor? Second, are the drivers found in environmental justice literature present in Santa Ana? And, what steps can be made to mitigate the shortage of public parks?

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