Many cities take advantage of their ‘green space’ – the parks, playgrounds, gardens and other plant-inhabited areas that bring nature back to an urban atmosphere. However, some cities don’t have the pleasure of a refreshing ‘green space.’ The most notable example of this in the United States is the city of Los Angeles. Though one of the largest cities in the entire country, less than five percent of the entire city area is dedicated to greenery. This means no public parks, no green soccer fields and no great forests. The people of Los Angeles, as a result, have begun a public outcry for more green space – but should the desire for public greenery be considered a civil right?
Los Angeles is undeniably lacking in green space. The parks that do exist are small, unkempt and often polluted. Many Los Angeles citizens believe that this awful lack of green space denies them key civil rights and goes against environmental justice laws. The lack of green space, civilians argue, creates an unhealthier and unhappier living environment for the entire population of Los Angeles. There are many benefits to introducing parks into Los Angeles, including:
There seem to be a lot of benefits to adding a little green space into Los Angeles, but does this need for green space constitute a civil right? Civil rights essentially work to promise citizens both personal liberty and equality. In a sense, Los Angeles inhabitants do suffer from inequality because, unlike other major cities, they have little to no access to green space. Personal liberty may also be in jeopardy when citizens in Los Angeles can’t explore parks, take hikes or otherwise enjoy green space in their native city. In many ways, it seems the lack of green space causes an inequality in where a United States citizen can travel for enjoyment, education or employment.
However, many do not consider the issue to be a civil right; if individuals desire more green space, for example, they can simply move to another area. Nonetheless, most individuals are of the mindset that green space in Los Angeles is their right, and conservation, park and planning projects are beginning to arrive more prevalently on the Los Angeles political and environmental scene. It is soon believed that green space projects will be a reality in this huge, west-coast city.