Learn More: Recreational Assets

The Recreational Assets dataset includes the following three variables: Acres of Parks per 1,000 People, Museums, and Theaters.
Browse this Learn More page to see this dataset's metadata and why each of its variables are important to measure.

Trends in the Data

Metadata

Variable Definitions:
Acres of Parks per 1,000 People: The number of acres of parks and green space per 1,000 people
Museums: The number of museums in a given area
Theaters: The number of theaters in a given area (movie and live)
Source:
Acres of Parks per 1,000 People: Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation
Museums & Theaters:Reference U.S.A - U.S. Business Database
Years Available:
2015
Geographic Unit:
Census Tract

Why are these Variables Important to Measure?

Public Parks
Parks and green space in this measure includes local parks under 100 acres that include amenities such as athletic courts and playgrounds, regional recreational parks over 100 acres that contain such amenities, and regional open spaces over five acres that contain only passive amenities like hiking trails and restrooms. Natural areas over 100 acres that do not contain any amenities are not include in this measure.
Public parks provide many benefits, particularly in urban communities where greenspace is often limited. The presence of quality public parks has been shown to increase property values for surrounding homeowners and has been cited as an important factor in relocation decisions for many businesses. Furthermore, parks provide a space for children and adults to stay healthy and fit and can improve air quality for surrounding areas. They serve as a gathering space for families and people of all ages within a community. It is important to note that the simple presence of a park in a neighborhood is not a perfect indicator that these benefits are being fully realized. Lack of funding for park upkeep and high rates of crime within a community may deter use of a park and decrease overall community benefit. 
Museums
Museums serve as a place of gathering and learning within a neighborhood. They can be important places for communities to document their history and celebrate their heritage. Museums can also serve as a space for discussion and problem-solving around current issues in the community. Furthermore, they drive local economic impact through visitation from both community residents and people outside of the community.
Theaters
Theaters serve as a place for gathering and entertainment within a community. Movies and and live theater are an important vehicle for spreading both historical and modern pop culture to the public. Furthermore, theaters drive local economic impact through visitation from both community residents and people outside of the community.

Citation:
"Why Parks and Recreation are Essential Public Services." National Recreation and Park Association, January 2010. Link
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