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The Inequality of America’s Parks and Green Space

New research finds that income, education, and race are correlated with access to green space across and within U.S. metro areas.
A cyclist rides in South Mountain Park and Preserve in Phoenix. According to a new study, Phoenix has a narrow spread of green space compared to other U.S. cities.
A cyclist rides in South Mountain Park and Preserve in Phoenix. According to a new study, Phoenix has a narrow spread of green space compared to other U.S. cities.Ross D. Franklin/AP

America has grown increasingly unequal, with deepening fissures across and within cities by income, education, and race. And those divides are reflected in our access to parks and green space.

That’s the big takeaway of a study conducted by a team of researchers at the University of British Columbia and published earlier this year in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning. The study takes a deep dive into how access to parks and green space varies by class, education, race, and other key variables.