Access to Experiences, Not Acres

What You'll Learn

  • Prioritize public spaces resource allocation.
  • Learn how to access public spaces experiences.
  • Enhance the health benefits of parks and public spaces.

More Course Details

Learn how Montgomery County, Maryland, and Parks Rx America are pairing resources and community relationships to increase access to parks and public spaces, increase health and happiness, foster environmental stewardship, and decrease the burden of chronic disease.

Not all park experiences are created equal for everyone. Some people want playgrounds, others value open space for concerts or being in nature on a long hike. Montgomery County goes beyond the standard metrics of parkland: acres per person.

The innovative Energized Public Spaces Functional Master Plan relies on data-driven analysis of walking access to different types of park experiences to prioritize public space needs more equitably throughout the county. This methodology analyzes data from the users' perspective. The intent is to provide a balance of public spaces supply for social gathering (events, festivals), active recreation (trails, multi-use courts, spaces to play) and contemplative relaxation (gardens, urban forests) in the urban areas of the county.

Not all recreation happens in a park. Park Rx America motivates people to walk and exercise outdoors near their places of work or residence — creating a demand for different types of outdoor experiences.