MLK Healthy Corridor Plan

"Designed around building and creating healthy green spaces to play, walk, bike and exercise."

The MLK Healthy Corridor Plan is designed around creating green ways and connecting existing or unused green space. The MLK Healthy Corridor Plan hopes to connect and reconnect residence of the affected area back to connecting with their community. Planting trees and addressing blighted property is part of the over arching plan for the corridor. Small mix use development and the remediation or demolition of property will increase safety, health and the value of residential property.

Benefits of outdoor recreation on physical and mental health and overall well-being are broadly established. Spending as little as two hours in nature every week is associated with better health and well-being outcomes. A meta-analysis by Two hig-Bennett & Jones (2018) shows that green space exposure is associated with wide ranging health benefits, including decreases in diastolic blood pressure, salivary cortisol, heart rate and incidences of diabetes. Thompson et. al. (2012) show that proximity to green space has a significant negative correlation to self-reported stress, while Beyer et. al. (2014) find that higher levels of neighborhood green space are associated with significantly reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Also, populations with higher availability of green spaces have lower levels of income-related health inequality (Mitchell & Popham, 2008) and better self-reported physical health (Cole et. al, 2019).

Globally, cities have been implementing environmental policies and practices that have led to the proliferation of green spaces (parks, gardens, and urban agriculture), which gave rise to the concept of the “green city,” an urban area designed to advance sustainability goals, address climate change, improve quality of life, and minimize negative environmental impacts.
People of different races, especially black and white people in the USA, have lived in neighborhoods with distinct environmental qualities. Neighborhoods that are the long-term home of more black people have, on average, fewer green spaces for physical activity, lower accessibility to healthy food, and lower traffic or crime-related safety. The significantly positive effects that green spaces have on human health have drawn considerable attention from researchers, public health professionals, and governmental officers over the past decades. Consensus has emerged that green spaces can influence human health through five major pathways, namely attention restoration, stress reduction, enhanced social cohesion and social capital, increased physical activity, and supply of ecological products and services.

The study suggested that more exposure to green space can reduce the health disparity caused by income disparity. The supply of public green spaces can reduce health disadvantages due to obesity and obesity-related illnesses in residents of low  socioeconomic status (SES), by encouraging physical exercise.