Urban parks as green walls or green magnets? Interracial relations in neighborhood boundary parks
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Landscape and Urban Planning 41:43-55
A recent paper in this journal (Solecki and Welch, 1995) describes how urban parks that lie between racially different neighborhoods can become "green walls" or barriers to use and appreciation. Although this phenomenon is well grounded in the experience of many who plan for, manage, and live near parks in racially and ethnically segregated cities, an analysis of the authors' logic and methods suggests that there may be better ways to test the green wall thesis than with physical-biological measures of park tree condition. Examples from research in Chicago area parks illustrates how alternative methods and measures from the social sciences might more clearly and directly identify the perception and experience of racially defined barriers. A case study of Chicago's Warren Park provides a counterexample of a boundary park that acts more like a "green magnet" than a green wall, and addresses the potential role of such parks as active agents in improving interracial relations.
Gobster, Paul H. 1998. Urban parks as green walls or green magnets? Interracial relations in neighborhood boundary parks. Landscape and Urban Planning 41:43-55