Green Communities Research Center
Parks not only improve the physical and aesthetic quality of urban neighborhoods, they also play a role in larger urban policy objectives, such as youth development, public health, and community building.
In their role as green infrastructure, parks are vital to the environmental quality of communities. By planning and managing urban parks as parts of an interconnected green space system, cities can reduce flood control and stormwater management costs. Parks can help protect biodiversity and preserve essential ecosystems while serving as a place for recreation and civic engagement.
The City Parks Forum is a great resource for information on urban parks. There are briefing papers on how cities can use parks for climate change management, to foster smart growth, and to improve green infrastructure; case studies; and a bibliography of urban parks resources.
Also check out Parks, Recreation, and Open Space: A Twenty-First Century Agenda (PAS Report 497/498), Parks and Economic Development (PAS Report 502), and From Recreation to Re-creation: New Directions in Parks and Open Space System Planning (PAS Report 551).