Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dajun Dai

Second Advisor

Katherine Hankins

Third Advisor

Lawrence Kiage

Abstract

Urban green spaces, such as parks, provide urban residents with a multitude of environmental benefits and city residents should all have access to these benefits. This study examined the socioeconomic status of urban residents who live within one-mile distance to a public park in the city of Atlanta. Park accessibility was investigated with respect to distances to parks and park acreage using Euclidean distance and street-network distance. Socioeconomic status was examined using five variables: population density, median household income, percentage of population living below poverty, percentage of minority population and percentage of female population. A site suitability analysis was conducted to determine where additional park space could be most beneficial for the populations lacking access to the benefits of park space. Using Geographic Information Systems to analyze socioeconomic data from U.S. Census Bureau vis-à-vis Atlanta parks, this study discovered there is no statistically significant socioeconomic disparity among residents who currently have or do not have park access in Atlanta. The findings of this study showed some weak relationships of park distance and park size with population density and minority populations. The site suitability study suggested two sites that could be potentially used for future park development.

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