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Table 2 Comparison of existing (Baseline/Control) and renovated (Intervention) features

From: The Physical Activity and Redesigned Community Spaces (PARCS) Study: Protocol of a natural experiment to investigate the impact of citywide park redesign and renovation

Physical Elements
Existing Renovated
• Out of date sports courts with cracked pavement and missing features • Refurbished and reconstructed basketball, handball, tennis and other courts, including regulation sizes
• Asphalted play areas • Synthetic turf conversions and multi-purpose fields
• Old-fashioned spray showers and mini pools • Contemporary water feature elements
• Play equipment dating from 1960s–1990s • Playground equipment meeting current safety and design standards, including ADA
• No or closed comfort station • Refurbished or new construction comfort station meeting ADA standards
• Poorly configured benches and picnic tables in need of repair • New tables, i.e. for chess, picnics; new benches and seating for passive recreation
• Minimal and unplanted horticultural beds and trees • Increased plantings and horticulture
  • Adult fitness equipment
  • Performance and community event spaces
  • Skate park features
  • Green infrastructure components, i.e. rain gardens, bioswales, subsurface retention systems, permeable surfaces
  • Lower, more welcoming fences
  • New lighting fixtures
Programming and Outreach Elements
Existing Renovated
• Citywide and Borough-organized recreational programming • Dedicated 6-month Playground Associates staffing all-day programs at capital renovation sites
• Enhanced free adult fitness classes at sites
• New partner programs, i.e. mobile library, running or bike classes, movie van
• Minimal or no direct community engagement specific to capital program sites • Expanded outreach and community engagement staff dedicated to program neighborhoods
• Limited stakeholder engagement in capital process • Held public scoping meetings to gather input on design program and park use with more than 1,100 attendees across 30+ sites