Document Type


Subject Area(s)

park, neighborhood, park use, measurement


Composite metrics integrating park availability, features, and quality for a given address or neighborhood are lacking. The purposes of this study were to describe the validation, application, and demonstration of ParkIndex in four diverse communities. This study occurred in Fall 2018 in 128 census block groups within Seattle(WA), Brooklyn(NY), Raleigh(NC), and Greenville County(SC). All parks within a half-mile buffer were audited to calculate a composite park quality score, and select households provided data about use of proximal parks via an online, map-based survey. For each household, the number of parks, total park acreage, and average park quality score within one half-mile were calculated using GIS. Logistic regression was used to identify a parsimonious model predicting park use. ParkIndex values (representing the probability of park use) were mapped for all study areas and after scenarios involving the addition and renovation/improvement of parks. Out of 360 participants, 23.3% reported visiting a park within the past 30 days. The number of parks (OR = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.15–1.62), total park acreage (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.07–1.19), and average park quality score (OR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01–1.06) within one half-mile were all associated with park use. Composite ParkIndex values across the study areas ranged from 0 to 100. Hypothetical additions of or renovations to study area parks resulted in ParkIndex increases of 22.7% and 19.2%, respectively. ParkIndex has substantial value for park and urban planners, citizens, and researchers as a common metric to facilitate awareness, decision-making, and intervention planning related to park access, environmental justice, and community health.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


© 2020 The Author(s). This article by Andrew T. Kaczynski, S. Morgan Hughey, Ellen W. Stowe, Marilyn E. Wende, J. Aaron Hipp, Elizabeth L. Oliphant, and Jasper Schipperijn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

APA Citation

Kaczynski, A. T., Hughey, S. M., Stowe, E. W., Wende, M. E., Hipp, J. A., Oliphant, E. L., & Schipperijn, J. (2020). ParkIndex: Validation and application of a pragmatic measure of park access and use. Preventive Medicine Reports, 20.