Parks, Recreation, and Public Spaces Plan in Davidson, North Carolina

At a Glance:

Location: Davidson, North Carolina

Date: 2013

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Belonging and Civic Muscle, Thriving Natural World

Determinants of Health: clean air, nutrition, belonging and civic muscle, parks, clean water, physical activity, parks

Affected Population: N/A

Research Methods: Primary research, Qualitative research

Community Types: urban

Click to expand map

In 2013, Davidson Design for Life (DD4L) led a health impact assessment (HIA) in partnership with the Davidson Parks and Recreation Department, Kostelec Planning, and LandDesign to examine how parks, recreation, and public spaces can impact the seven dimensions of wellness (physical, emotional, environmental, occupational, intellectual, social, and spiritual). The HIA found that parks serve multiple purposes for individuals and communities, including providing a safe, accessible, and affordable place for physical activity and social gathering, and contributing to air, water, and soil quality. The HIA also found that public spaces not considered part of parks and recreation planning processes-streetscapes, public buildings and facilities, and vacant spaces between buildings-can offer services similar to parks and should be included in the planning process. The HIA made several recommendations including offering opportunities for community members of all ages and abilities to volunteer with the parks and recreation department; ensuring a broad range of community engagement opportunities within the master plan process; and establishing baseline metrics of how parks, recreational programs, and public spaces impact the seven dimensions of wellness within Davidson as well as tracking positive progress towards impacting wellness.


The initial HIA will be used to inform the overall planning process for the Parks, Recreation, and Public Spaces Plan and additional public engagement along the seven dimensions of health will take place during the planning process due in part to the HIA. The project team is hopeful that the HIA will either be incorporated throughout the plan or included as an appendix.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Assessment Reports

Explore More on Community Commons

Embed Card

You can use the following link to embed this card into another website.