White Paper: Parks Investment and Social Resilience

White paper Parks Investment and Social Resilience by Andrea Penuela, Landscape Designer with GAI's Community Solutions Group (CSG) discusses how quality public spaces can positively affect social resilience, which is defined as the ability of a social system to respond to and recover from disasters.


From the Parks Investment and Social Resilience executive summary:

With strategic investment in park spaces, communities can create more resilient communities in the face of changing conditions. Challenges ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to the emergent and wide-ranging effects of global climate change have shifted the focus of parks departments to include dimensions of social equity and environmental resiliency. Social resilience provides an aspirational goal functioning hand in hand with environmental resilience and social equity to enhance a community's capacity to respond to change by focusing on a community's capacity to persist, adapt, and transform to possible risks and threats. In order to understand the current state of social resilience of a community, it is necessary to develop tools to measure the social capital present within the community … Parks can serve as key social infrastructure providing spaces for people to have casual encounters and form relationships with people they might not have interacted with otherwise, thus increasing a neighborhood's social capital.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and the sources cited and do not reflect the views or position of GAI Consultants, Inc. Examples of analysis cited within this article and conclusions based upon this analysis are not reflective of the views or position of GAI Consultants, Inc.

Contact Andrea Penuela, 321.319.3074, and find out more about GAI's parks and community development services— message GAI online and start the conversation about how our multidisciplinary professionals can meet your unique project needs.


Andrea Penuela believes that the places we experience throughout life play an essential role in forming our distinct identities. Through her work, Andrea strives to create physical environments that provide rich, positive experiences of place while representing and reflecting a community's unique character.

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