Clean Spaces, Community Building, and Urban Stage: the Coproduction of Health and Parks in Low-Income Neighborhoods

S. Raap*, M. Knibbe, K. Horstman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Green zones are potential contributors to health by mitigating disparities between low- and high-income neighborhoods. Against the background of different discourses about city parks-parks as restorative environments, parks as enabling places, and parks as sites for encounters between strangers-we ethnographically studied the coproduction of green spaces and health within low-income neighborhoods. We found three competing notions of urban green, each tied to different notions of neighborhood well-being. Parks as "clean spaces" create expectations of order and peace; parks as places of the community are related to play and activities; and parks as urban stage foster interactions between strangers. By generating experiences that encompass different conceptions of health, citizen-led events can contribute to a shift in the understanding of parks as sites of neighborhood decline to parks as places of hope and new beginnings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-687
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urban Health-Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date14 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Health disparities
  • Urban landscapes
  • Citizen interventions
  • Neighborhood parks

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