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Equity

Going where the needs are the greatest

We live in a region with a strong history of protecting open space, yet not all of our communities experience the benefits of these public investments.

Many communities have experienced, and still experience, a history of unequal and limited regional investments in parks, open space, and trail access which affects their daily lives and limits their ability to lead healthy lives.

View map showing disparities in access to open space.

Truly livable communities need access to parks and trails, just like they need access to public transit, affordable housing, and good education & healthcare.

Regional leaders and King County developed a framework for creating a more equitable distribution of open space throughout King County. 

  • Equity is to be an overarching theme across the entire Initiative
  • Land protection is a region-wide benefit; the Initiative must ensure these benefits accrue to all residents.
  • The equity pillar of the LCI is to "go where needs are the greatest". 

The Framework provides the lens through which we can begin the work of reversing inequitable access to health-promoting open space and to being process of addressing historical inequities. 

 

Land protection is a region-wide benefit;
the Initiative must ensure these benefits accrue to all residents.

Marymoor 

Land Conservation Initiative Equity Framework:

  • King County is committed to fix the historic and unequal lack of investment in public open space across our communities. This will yield dividends for equity in a new and innovative way and advance a smart public health strategy. 
     
  • As a starting point, the Initiative will invest $160 M in these communities to create a base level of open space infrastructure to bring these neighborhoods up to the level of open space access that other communities enjoy and benefit from today. View map that will help guide where the $160 M would be invested.
    • Equity compels us to ensure this initial investment is dedicated and targeted to communities with the greatest and most acute needs; it is not meant to be spread like peanut butter across various communities.

  • In 2018 we are forming an Open Space Equity Cabinet of community leaders to drive decisions, monitor progress, hold the County and cities accountable, and provide thought leadership;

  •  In 2018 we are launching community-based open space equity planning processes in two initial communities; 

  • We are acting now to change policies and practices;
    • Working in 2018 to make current open space funding more accessible to communities whose needs are the greatest;

  • If the LCI is successful it will scale the equity impact to communities across King County well beyond what is achievable by changing current practices at current funding levels.