LA County’s “PNA+” Featured in APA Planning Magazine
“Park planners harness novel data sources and tools to direct equitable conservation, amenities, and access,” says Clement K.H. Lau, FAICP, Departmental Facilities Planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), who wrote the article for APA’s Planning Magazine.
DPR and MIG conducted the “Parks Needs Assessment Plus” (dubbed PNA+), which built on a previous needs assessment to now include mapping and analyses related to population vulnerability, environmental benefits and burdens, and priority areas for environmental conservation, regional recreation and rural recreation.
In addition to GIS data, online map-based surveys and in-person site analysis, “by working with third-party technology companies, park planners were able to use anonymized (cell phone and fitness tracking) data to understand park visitorship and trips by mode and over time, which helped determine where infrastructure improvements might be needed,” Lau states.
Lau notes that the team identified and mapped vulnerable areas “using GIS and data from California's Healthy Places® (HPI). The index addresses four dimensions that make residents particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change: social barriers, transportation barriers, health vulnerability, and environmental vulnerability.”
Awards have been rolling in for the innovative PNA+, including:
- 2023 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award Winner
- 2023 National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) Award in the Planning Initiative category
- 2023 Award of Excellence in the Innovation in Green Community Planning category from the Los Angeles section of the APA
- 2023 APA California Award of Excellence in Resilience and Sustainability