One of our many goals while working toward the Equity Atlas grant is to align more UVA resources with community needs related to equity. And one of the greatest resources we have at UVA are our students. Our partnership with the UVA Equity Initiative has offered great insight into what it means to engage in community centered research, and we were lucky enough to work with Barbara Brown Wilson’s course in the fall to do some truly community engaged work that will also enhance our Equity Atlas.
Students in the Planning 6020 course worked in groups to support various community-centered research projects. We’ll mention some others in future posts, but we wanted to start with the incredible work of one group that created a Spatial Audit of Charlottesville Parks. The group, which included Mikala Reiman, Chen Xiong, Taylor Kitchens, Sophia Woods, Mennen Middlebrooks, Rachel Moon, and Xiaoxue Jiang, developed a framework to evaluate the inclusivity of Charlottesville’s parks. Working in partnership with Bennett’s Village, the students endeavored to look beyond ADA compliance and determine the degree to which Charlottesville’s parks were inclusive of children of all abilities. The final report from their project, and their Spatial Audit Scorecard are available here.