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Park Proximity is Best Measured in Real Terms

Several cities have standards that call for parks to be a a set number of  blocks from every resident or claim to have a certain percent of residents within blocks of a park. This can be a problem — as the below image David Nairn put together at Greater Greater Washington shows.

As one can see, a block can be 200 feet long or 900 feet long. Or both – in New York City many of the blocks were laid out short on the north-to-south axis and long on the east-west side. If a city says “every resident must be within six blocks of a park,” the actual distance could be anywhere from 50 to 1,000 feet depending on the location (even within the city). This is why park agencies are best suited when they use an actual distance measurement — feet, miles, meters and the like.

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