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Keywords

Outdoor recreation; Parks; Public health; Recreation; Recreation areas; Sustainable development; Sustainable development--Social aspects; Sustainable development--Economic aspects

Abstract

Community design and access to services are essential components of healthy and sustainable communities. The purpose of this manuscript is to evaluate Southern Nevada with respect to community design and access, including both positive and negative traits, and to suggest realistic changes that could be made to improve these conditions. The region’s network of parks and open space recreation areas is one of its strongest assets. Clark County enjoys over 42 million acres of federal and state lands which offer a large variety of recreational opportunities. The region has an extensive trail system, with a total of 179 miles of off road and multiuse trails, as well as over 300 miles of biking infrastructure. There are 39 recreational facilities and 24 libraries throughout the region. There are, however, fewer park acres per capita than the nationally recommended level and disparate access to those parks for low income census tracts. Southern Nevada has some significant issues related to food access, with 16 food deserts in Clark County and over 17% of the population, and 26.9% of children, experiencing food insecurity. There are a total of 289 grocery stores, supermarkets, and club stores, 593 convenience stores, and 1,089 fast food outlets (USDA ERS, 2012). Of all restaurants in Clark County, 59% are classified as fast food. In 2012 Nevada ranked second in the nation for violent crimes and Clark County ranked third within the state. Based on the existing conditions, a number of goals and strategies aimed at creating a healthy and sustainable community were developed as part of the Southern Nevada Regional Plan for Sustainable Development (SNvRPSD); a single, integrated and consolidated plan that will promote and guide sustainable regional development in Southern Nevada over the next 20 years.


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