Action: Increase safe transportation routes to the river.
Ensuring that there are clear, safe, direct connections from neighborhoods to the LA River makes nearby neighbors more likely to use the river and, by extension, the broader LA County network of parks and trails that the river connects to.
The ease and quality of these connections is important because impressions of traveling to and from the river can influence the entire river experience. This is especially important where physical barriers currently hinder access to the river. Current research by scholars such as Dr. Richard Jackson of the University of California at Los Angeles and Dr. William Sullivan of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign indicates a favorable relationship between parks and health.[mfn]Rahman T,Cushing RA, Jackson RJ Contributions of built environment to childhood obesity. The Mount Sinai journal of medicine, New York. 2011; 78(1): 49-57.[/mfn] [mfn]Dannenberg AL, Jackson RJ, Frumkin H, Schieber RA, Pratt M, Kochtitzky C, Tilson HH, The Impact of Community Design and Land-Use Choices on Public Health: A Scientific Research Agenda, American Journal of Public Health. 2003; 93(9): 1500-8.[/mfn] [mfn]Jiang, B., Zhang, T., & Sullivan, W.C. (2015). Healthy Cities; Mechanisms and research questions regarding the impacts of urban green landscapes on public health and well-being. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 3 (1), p. 24-35. Published in Mandarin and English.[/mfn] Increasing overall acres of parkland and access to parks can positively benefit communities by reducing rates of preventable diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
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