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Researching outdoor recreation provision in an uneven urban landscape

Authors: Aubrey Prescott*,
Topics: Urban Geography, Recreational and Sport Geography, Ethnicity and Race
Keywords: Recreation, Urban, uneven geographies
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Authors: Aubrey Prescott, University of Wyoming
Session type: paper

Recreation and outdoor programs are not equally accessed by everyone in urban areas. These kinds of programs are expensive: financially inaccessible for many would-be participants as well as financially demanding for the authorities overseeing them (in terms of equipment costs, professional certifications, membership fees, etc.). Furthermore, recreation and outdoor programs tend to be conceived with a particular participant in mind, and the particularity of that idealized participant often does not match the lived experiences and social constraints of the neighborhoods that recreation and outdoor programs are supposed to serve. Social scientific research in the health sciences underscores the importance of an active lifestyle and prescribes best practices for parents who might teach their children about leading a healthy lifestyle. These programs can help children and adults alike to lead a healthier lifestyle and to learn new skills that can be relevant to life beyond program. The problem is that outdoor recreation programs are inadequately sensitive to the uneven geographies of race and class from which their would-be participants emerge. To address this gap, I propose to investigate the relationship between urban space, social difference, and outdoor recreation programs. This presentation will be defining a problem for future research that will be done in graduate school.

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