Interrogating measures of ethnicity in park equity research: Differential access based on country-of-origin within Miami’s heterogeneous Hispanic population

Authors: Marco Allain*, University of Utah, Timothy Williams Collins, University of Utah
Topics: Environmental Justice, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Environmental Justice, Urban Parks, GIS Analysis, Generalized Estimating Equations
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 25
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


US-based park equity research reveals that affluent and White neighborhoods have privileged access to greenspace. In this research area, park access indicators are typically associated with sociodemographic measures of income, housing tenure, and race/ethnicity, which in US-based studies includes categories of Hispanic/Latino, White, Black, etc. The treatment of Hispanic/Latino people as a monolithic group in park equity research is potentially misleading, particularly where Hispanic populations are diverse. We examine park equity in the socially diverse Miami Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) using a novel measure of area-weighted park access, which gauges the amount of accessible park space for neighborhoods. We fitted multivariable generalized estimating equations (GEEs) to examine sociodemographic correlates of area-weighted park access at the census tract level. Our first model includes a variable for the proportion of the tract population of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity, which we substitute in the second model with variables representing the proportions of the tract population from the five most populous Hispanic/Latino country-of-origin subgroups in the MSA. Our first model finds robust negative relationships for the proportion Hispanic and Black variables with area-weighted park access, adjusting for median household income, renter-occupancy, and old and young population composition. Our second model indicates that Cuban and Venezuelan neighborhood composition drive the negative relationship for the Hispanic/Latino category, while the three other Hispanic/Latino country-of-origin subgroup variables exhibit no associations with park access. Study findings have implications for the analysis of ethnic categories in park equity research and interventions to promote park equity in cities with heterogeneous Hispanic/Latino populations.

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