Progressive Local Government for the 21st Century

Public Spaces

Shared public spaces are critical to local community life. Local policies about public spaces can help or hinder social cohesion, economic development, public safety, or environmental preservation. Unfortunately, access to public space in the United States is highly stratified, and many low-income communities and marginalized populations suffer from a shortage of shared space and recreational opportunities. Local governments can work to expand recreational spaces and opportunities through a shared-use approach to public facilities, protecting green spaces through land-use restrictions, and involving residents in planning decisions. Through these policies, cities, towns and counties aim to ensure a more equitable distribution of public space, recreational space and the benefits they provide. Please see ProGov21’s Recreation roadmap for an analysis of recreation spaces and their impact on public health, and our Planning and Public Space policy roadmap provides an introduction to progressive policy on zoning and development. 

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