High quality parks and recreation spaces provide opportunities for physical activity. Physical activity is linked to reduced risk of obesity-related chronic diseases. Outdoor physical activity in particular is associated with improved mental health and social cohesion, and stress reduction. Vegetation in parks can also moderate ambient temperatures, remove air pollutants, and divert surface water run-off into groundwater recharge.
The HSR System could lead to some limited displacement of parkland, impede access, or reduce the quality of park use due to noise in parks close to the HSR alignment. On the other hand, integrating pocket parks into TOD areas and providing new quality park and recreation spaces would increase recreation opportunities for park-poor populations.