Washington. D.C. has emerged as the top ranking U.S. metropolis in The Trust For Public Land’s 2019 assessment of U.S. cities with the best park system. The non-profit organization performs annual assessments of U.S. city park systems using four metrics: accessibility, acreage, amenities and investment.
The Trust For Public Land measured accessibility based on the number of city residents who can access the park by way of a 10-minute walk. In terms of amenities, Amenities include popular recreations such as basketball, playgrounds and swimming pools. Amenity-assessments also include recreational facilities for senior citizens, bathrooms and dog parks.
AllTimeList.com helped us compile in brief, important details about each of the top ten cities, based on the metrics used by the organization.
Top Ten U.S. Cities with the Best Park Systems
1. Washington, D.C. – Ninety-eight (98%) of D.C.’s residents are within a 10-minute walking distance to a city park; of which there are as many as has 629 in all. The number represents about 21% of the city land. As of survey period, the city had spent $257 per resident on parks and recreations.
2. St. Paul, Minnesota – St. Paul has 264 parks, which is about 15 % of the city land. Like Washington D.C., 98% of the residents can access a park by way of a 10-minute walk. The city spent as much as $201 per resident for all parks’ upkeep and improvement.
3. Minneapolis, Minnesota – The city of Minneapolis has a total of 266 parks, accessible to 96% of its community residents via a 10-minute walk. All parks combined yields a total area occupied by parks at 15% of the city land. Compared to other top ranking cities, the local government had the highest spend for park upkeeps, at a rate of $347 per resident.
4. Arlington, Virginia – About 11% of Arlington City’s land is devoted to parks, furnishing 181 green recreational spaces that 98% of city residents can access within a 10-minute walking distance. The city government devoted funding for parks at a rate of $233 per resident.
5. Portland, Oregon Portland residents have 325 parks in all, distributed in about 18% of the city land, and are accessible to 89% of the population by way of a 10-minute walk. The latest records show that the city spent $234 per resident to maintain the quality of the parks.
6. Irvine, California – The City of Irvine has 127 parks, dispersed in about 27% of the metropolitan area. They are reachable by way of a 10-minute walk to 80% of the residents. The local government had allocated park-upkeep spending at a rate of of $206 per resident.
7. San Francisco, California – An impressive score of one hundred percent (100%) of San Francisco’s residents can take a 10-minute walk, to easily access one or more of the city’s 471 parks. Parks occupy about 20% of the metropolitan area, for which the city government had spent $260 per resident.
8. Cincinnati, Ohio – Cincinnati’s 259 parks are reachable via 10-minute walk from residents of 77% of the city population. Here, parks occupy about 14% of Cincinnati’s land area, to which the local government incurred costs at a rate of $153 per resident
9. New York, New York – Ninety-nine percent (99%) of New Yorkers can take a 10-minute walk and reach one or more of the city’s 2,311 parks, the largest number enjoyed by city residents. Total area of all parks combined represents 22% of the Big Apple’s jurisdiction, to which the city government allocated a spending rate of only $163 per resident.
10. Chicago, Illinois – Although only 10% of Chicago City’s land is used for parks, a total of 1,230 are located across the metropolis, making recreational and green spaces available by way of a 10-minute walk to 98% of Chicago residents.