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“Parking to Park...” is a unique partnership between GRTC and the Science Museum of Virginia created with the intention of bringing awareness around the need for greater transit access to greenspace for all members of our region as well as balancing the regional needs of parking, parks and resiliency.

How Are Land-Use Decisions and Climate Change Related?

According to the Richmond 300: A Guide For Growth Insights Report, more land surface in Richmond is paved over than currently used for public park spaces.

Meanwhile, years of sprawling suburban development and lack of safe, connected multi-use pathways has made it seemingly necessary for families to use cars to get into and around the city. In addition, urban planning decisions have overburdened inner-city neighborhoods with fewer trees, proximity to traffic and outdated stormwater infrastructure.

As climate change continues to make extreme heat and rainfall events more common and more intense, land-use decisions can magnify those events, particularly in neighborhoods with fewer green spaces. The blogs below provide more information about how land use and climate change are related and what impacts our city is feeling today.

Graphic showing how the sun can heat surfaces differently
Urban Heat Island Effect

The Science Museum received a grant from the Virginia Academy of Science to work with multiple partners to measure the city’s temperature in various places all at once during a heat wave. The goal was to identify the strength of Richmond’s “urban heat island effect.”

Various maps showing temperature disparities among neighborhoods in Richmond.
The Echo of Redlining

A Science Museum study linked higher land surface temperatures to formerly redlined areas in 108 US cities. Redlined areas have fewer trees than their non-redlined neighbors, allowing more of the Sun’s energy to get soaked up and amplified by human-built surfaces.

A map showing afternoon temperatures in neighborhoods in Richmond overlaid with former redlining ratings.
An Unjust Evolution

Two papers published by the University of Richmond in collaboration with the Science Museum explore the relationships between temperature, air quality, socio-demographic factors and historical planning decisions for the City of Richmond.

How Can We Become More Resilient?

Parks and green spaces—through tree canopy shade, rainfall-absorbent surfaces and air-cleaning vegetation—are an asset to the city’s climate resilience goals, as they provide some of the most natural landscapes that remain within the city’s bounds.

At the individual level, there are many options for families to help build community resilience to climate change in their own backyard. Installing rain barrels and planting native trees and shrubs to replace your lawn are two ways to start treating your yard like a climate action laboratory.

For renters and those without the financial means to improve their landscaping, there are opportunities to volunteer with one of the many local organizations working to expand and improve green spaces in the Richmond community. Check out the HandsOn Greater Richmond volunteer portal or keep up with the events calendar on Southside ReLeaf's website to find an event near you.

Finally, we can all look for ways to limit and reduce the amount of driving we do as a way to limit heat-trapping gas emissions that are the root cause of climate change. We can do this through supporting compact and dense housing throughout the city and expanding the reliability, frequency, and connectivity of public transportation options like GRTC.

On the Science Museum's campus, we have begun construction on Phase 1 of a project that will reclaim two acres of asphalt surface parking and reestablish the front acreage of historic Broad Street Station as a new 6-acre public green space. The project aligns with the city’s Richmond 300 development plan, which prioritizes green infrastructure for Greater Scott’s Addition, one of the fastest growing, mixed-use neighborhoods in the city with one of the lowest levels of urban tree cover.

The Green will serve as both a welcoming park and a living classroom that will implement natural solutions to address the impacts of climate change in an urban setting.

The Vision for The Green

Rendering of what the Science Museum campus will look like when the green is complete.

The Green will be accessible by public transportation, sitting directly on the Pulse BRT line that travels Broad Street. Until The Green is complete, you can visit other park space using public transportation within the city. Take a look at the options below provided by GRTC.

Richmond Region Parks Accessible By GRTC

Abner Clay Park
Pulse, 1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 5, 12, 14, 50, 77, 78, 87
Bandy Field Nature Park
79
Battery Park
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 20
Briel Street Park
13
Broad Rock Sports Complex
1B, 1C, 86
Brown's Island Park
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 5, 14, 87
Byrd Park
5, 20, 77, 78
Cannon Creek Nature Area
2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 20
Canoe Run Park
2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 87
Chelsea Village Park
5
Chimborazo Park
12, 13, 56
Covington Road Properties (Sankofa Community Orchard)
1A
Davee Garden Fitness & Walking Trail
3B, 3C, 88
Dove St Recreation Area
2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C
Ethel Bailey Furman Park
7A, 7B, 12, 13, 56
Federal Park
5, 20, 77, 78
Fonticello Playground (Carter Jones Park)
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C
Forest Hill Park
2A, 2B
Gabriel's Freedom Park
3A, 3B, 3C, 20
Gillies Creek Nature Area (Fulton Park)
Pulse, 4A, 4B, 56
Grace Park
Pulse, 14, 50, 76
Henderson Sports Complex
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 93
Hioaks Water Tower
2B
Horace Edwards Playground (Clark Springs School)
5, 77, 78
James River - Belle Island
2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 87
James River - Great Shiplock Park
Pulse, 4A, 4B, 12, 13, 14
James River - North Bank Park (Texas Beach)
78
Jefferson Park
4A, 4B, 5, 7A, 7B, 12, 13, 14, 56
Kanawha Plaza Park
Pulse, 1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 5, 7A, 7B, 12, 14
Libby Hill Park
Pulse, 4A, 4B, 7A, 7B, 12, 13, 14, 56
Little John Park
14
Maymont House & Park
78
Monroe Park
Pulse, 3A, 3B, 3C, 5, 14, 50, 77, 78, 87
Mosby Court Community Center/Parker Field
5, 12
Oregon Hill Linear Park (Samuel Parsons)
3A, 3B, 3C, 87
Paradise Park
5, 77, 78
Patrick Henry Park
Pulse, 4A, 4B, 7A, 7B, 12, 13, 14, 56
Petronius S Jones Park
5, 77, 78
Pine Camp Park and Arts Center
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 93
Pollard Park
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 20
Powhatan's Hill Park
4B
Providence Park Playground
2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 91
Redd Elementary Field
2B
RMA Deck Park
2A, 2B, 2C, 5, 14
Robert Pleasants Park
3A, 3B, 3C, 5, 77, 78, 87
Roy West Park (Washington Park)
1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 93
Scuffletown Park
Pulse, 5, 20, 50, 76, 77, 78
Summer Hill Softball Diamond
3B, 3C, 88
Taylor's Hill Park
Pulse, 4A, 4B, 7A, 7B, 12, 13, 14, 56
Third Avenue Tot Lot
3A, 3B, 3C
Thomas Jefferson Tot Lot
50, 76, 91
Thomas Square
5, 77, 78
Southside Flood Wall
1, 1A, 1B, 1C
Wythe High School Track
2C, 20
Cheswick Park
79
Dabbs House Museum/Glen Echo Recreation Area
7A, 7B
Henrico Theatre
7A, 7B
Highland Springs Community Center & Recreation Area
7A, 7B
Sandston Recreation Area
7A, 7B
Short Pump Park
19
Falling Creek Ironworks Park
3B
Westwood Park
76, 79
Abner Clay Park
Pulse, 1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 5, 12, 14, 50, 77, 78, 87
Alice Fitz Playground
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 87
Ashbury Triangle Park (Lombardy Triangle)
5, 14, 50, 77
Battery Park
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C, 20
Bill Robinson Park
12, 13, 56
Broad Rock Community Center and Playground (School)
86
Broad Rock Sports Complex
1B, 1C, 86
Calhoun Community Center and Playground
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C
Chimborazo Playground
Pulse, 12, 13, 14, 4A, 4B, 56
Fonticello Playground (Carter Jones Park)
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, 2C
Gillies Creek Nature Area (Fulton Park)
Pulse, 4A, 4B, 56
Grayland Playground
5, 20, 77, 78
Henderson Sports Complex
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 93
Highland Park Plaza Community Center (Anne Hardy Plaza)
3A, 3B, 3C
Holly Street Playground
3A, 3B, 3C, 87
Horace Edwards Playground (Clark Springs School)
5, 77, 78
Jefferson Park
4A, 4B, 5, 7A, 7B, 12, 13, 14, 56
Mary M Scott Playground
2A, 2B, 2C, 91
Mary Munford Playground
77
Mashore Playground (Old Pilkington Playground)
1, 1A, 1B, 1C
Maymont Playground
78
Montrose Heights Playground
4A
Norrell Elementary School Annex
2A, 2B, 2C
Oak Grove Playground
3A, 3B, 3C, 87
Oakwood Park Playground
12, 13
Pine Camp Park and Arts Center
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 93
Providence Park Playground
2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 91
Randolph Community Center
5, 77, 78
Smith-Peters Playground
Pulse, 14, 50, 77, 78
Swansboro Playground
1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2C
Third Avenue Tot Lot
3A, 3B, 3C
Thomas B. Smith Community Center/Ruffin Road Playground
3B, 3C, 88
Thomas Jefferson Tot Lot
50, 76, 91
Westwood Playground
76, 79
Whitcomb Court Community Center & Playground
5
Yancey Street Playground
2A, 2B, 2C


Learn More About The Green

View of The Green looking at the Parking Deck.

Learn More About Public Transportation in Richmond

Image of Science Museum Pulse BRT station