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ParkScore: Washington, DC is #4

ParkScore badges_Instagram_2017_4 Washington DC

Washington, DC ranks number #4 out of the 100 largest US cities in the 2017 edition of ParkScore from The Trust for Public Land. (Neighboring Arlington, VA is #6).  Acreage, Access and Investment & Amenities are the three categories that determine a city’s ParkScore and here’s how Washington DC scored in each:

In terms of acreage, the median park size is 1.5 acres (compared to the national median of 5 acres) and the percentage of the city that is parkland is 22 percent (compared to the national median of 9.3 percent.)

In terms of access, 97 percent of the population is within a 10-minute walk to a park, as shown our map below.  Any areas in red, dark or light orange are areas where the population is outside a 10-minute walk.

parkscore-dc-2017

10-minute walk map from ParkScore (click on image to go to live map)

In terms of investment and amenities, spending per resident is $270 (compared to the national median of $80 per resident) and scores for playgrounds, basketball hoops, dog parks and recreation and senior centers all score very well.

For complete information, including our ParkEvaluator tool, visit ParkScore.  If you have questions, please email us at ccpe@tpl.org.

 

ParkScore: Minneapolis is #1

ParkScore badges_Instagram_2017_1 Minneapolis

Congratulations to the Minneapolis Parks Board and the City of Minneapolis for being number one for the FIFTH year in a row! Minneapolis has a park within a ten-minute walk of 97 percent of their citizens, with 15 percent of the city as parkland and a median park size of 6.6 acres.  You can check out all of the details here or check out their map here.

Click on the photo to view the Minneapolis ParkScore profile and score results or here.

Better yet, make plans to join 1,000 park advocates, planners, programmers and managers at the Greater & Greener Parks Conference in Minneapolis and St. Paul (#2) July 29-August 2 and see the number 1 and 2 city parks systems for yourself.

Sheridan Memorial Park_Trust for Public Land Event_05-24-2017_61H

Micheal Langley (Greater MSP), Charlie McCabe (The Trust for Public Land), Jayne Miller (Minneapolis Parks Board) and Melvin Tennant (MeetMinneapolis) celebrate the fifth #1 win in a row)

ParkScore 2017 has arrived!

renditionDownload

The Trust for Public Land is pleased to announce that the 2017 edition of ParkScore is live.  Visit and find out where all of the 100 largest US cities rank.  Minneapolis has once again come out on top, with St. Paul in 2nd place. [And you can can experience them in person through the City Park Alliance Greater & Greener Conference July 29-August 2.]

A big thanks to all of the Parks and Recreation agencies in the 100 largest cities. Assembling all of the data, especially the GIS information, is a big job and we couldn’t do it without each city’s help and support.  We truly appreciate it.

We’re also doing a big promotional push and we have a number of media reports published, this update is from Thursday evening, May 25.

Chicago:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-chicago-park-score-ranking-met-20170524-story.html

WGN Radio – Adrian Benepe interview

Washington, D.C.:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/parks-in-dc-and-arlington-lose-ground-to-west-coast-in-ranking-report-says/2017/05/23/731b3f7c-3fe7-11e7-8c25-44d09ff5a4a8_story.html?utm_term=.28647ebfab93

http://wtop.com/dc/2017/05/dog-parks-playgrounds-dcs-green-spaces-measure/

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Washington-Arlington-Rank-in-Top-10-for-Parks-423959033.html

http://dcist.com/2017/05/parkscore_2017.php

http://www.wusa9.com/news/local/dc/dc-va-parks-among-top-in-nation/442557951

Twin Cities:

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-parks-named-tops-in-the-nation-and-st-paul-comes-in-second/423970983/

http://www.twincities.com/2017/05/23/twin-cities-have-best-parks-systems-in-nation-says-trust-for-public-land/

http://www.fox9.com/news/256660112-story

http://www.kare11.com/entertainment/television/programs/kare-11-sunrise/twin-cities-earn-top-park-honors-in-the-us/442464085

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2017/05/24/minneapolis-named-nations-best-park-system-again

https://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2017/05/why-minneapolis-keeps-topping-rankings-nations-best-park-system

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2017/05/24/minneapolis-parks-best-in-u-s/

New York:

http://www.amny.com/news/nyc-ranked-7th-for-best-parks-in-the-country-behind-sf-and-portland-1.13658767

WNYC – Interview with Adrian Benepe.

Buffalo:

http://buffalonews.com/2017/05/25/buffalos-park-system-about-average-nationally-group-says/

New Jersey:

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2017/05/in_ranking_100_us_cities_for_parks_jersey_city_is.html

Colorado:

www.denverpost.com/2017/05/23/denver-population-density-open-space/

http://303magazine.com/2017/05/denver-parks-1/

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/open-space-per-resident-shrinks-below-national-average-as-denver-swells-with-new-residents

http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-behind-national-average-in-funding-parks-study-finds/article/1603795

http://www.9news.com/news/local/three-colorado-cities-have-top-park-honors-in-us/442755937

San Francisco

http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/SF-ranks-3rd-among-U-S-cities-for-parks-and-11168321.php

Los Angeles:

http://www.presstelegram.com/lifestyle/20170523/long-beach-one-of-the-best-us-cities-for-access-to-local-parks

http://laist.com/2017/05/24/las_parkscore_drops_to_74.php

http://mynewsla.com/orange-county/2017/05/24/irvine-among-top-10-in-country-for-park-access-la-tumbles-to-74th-in-nation/

Fresno:

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article152291507.html

Sacramento:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article152476764.html

San Diego:

http://timesofsandiego.com/life/2017/05/24/san-diego-chula-vista-parks-get-high-rankings/

http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/05/24/san-diego-among-top-15-us-park-systems/

Anchorage:

http://www.youralaskalink.com/news/anchorage-ranks-st-earning-park-benches-from-the-release-parkscore/article_6b463f76-40c9-11e7-a979-274e03447378.html

Atlanta:

http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/atlanta-parks-system-ranked-50th-among-100-big-cities/KFWQeUUbWRdwyGiQkpiIlO/

http://saportareport.com/trust-public-land-ranks-atlantas-parkscore-stuck-middle/

http://news.wabe.org/post/why-atlanta-ranks-only-50th-public-parks-index

Fort Wayne:

http://www.news-sentinel.com/news/local/fort_wayne_tied_for_last_in_ratings_of_park_systems_in_100_largest_us_cities_20170525&profile=1008

http://wane.com/2017/05/24/study-ranks-fort-wayne-parks-worst-among-large-cities/

Louisville:

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/2017/05/25/louisvilles-parks-among-nations-worst/343970001/

New Orleans:

http://www.nola.com/living/index.ssf/2017/05/parks_score_new_orleans_37th_1.html

Jacksonville:

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-05-24/report-ranks-jacksonville-s-parks-90th-nation-out-100-biggest-citieshttp:/jacksonville.com/news/metro/2017-05-24/report-ranks-jacksonville-s-parks-90th-nation-out-100-biggest-cities

Cleveland/Toledo:

http://wksu.org/post/cleveland-parks-score-middle-pack-according-new-study#stream/0

http://www.wtol.com/story/35507883/toledo-parks-rank-63rd-out-of-100-most-populous-cities-in-the-us

http://www.wtol.com/story/35507883/toledo-parks-rank-63rd-out-of-100-most-populous-cities-in-the-us

Philadelphia:

https://philly.curbed.com/2017/5/24/15681708/philadelphia-parks-statistics-cities-comparison

Texas: (Austin and Dallas)

http://kuow.org/post/many-austinites-city-parks-remain-out-reach

http://keranews.org/post/plano-again-tops-north-texas-cities-parkscore-index-others-slip

http://fitness.blog.mystatesman.com/2017/05/24/how-does-austins-park-system-compare-to-other-u-s-cities/

St. Louis:

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/columns/joe-holleman/st-louis-finishes-in-top-for-urban-park-space/article_807c5c09-1284-5d82-a453-fbae1261fd5a.html

Honolulu:

http://www.bizjournals.com/pacific/news/2017/05/24/honolulu-parks-in-the-top-third-of-annual-rating.html

Las Vegas:

http://www.ktnv.com/positivelylv/las-vegas-improves-on-park-ratings

Madison:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/madison-parks-ranked-ninth-best-in-the-country/article_fae6f9e0-c642-5043-9f8f-4f7e3c93e371.html

Charlotte:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article152364862.html

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article152568749.html

http://www.wbt.com/articles/low-rankings-charlottes-park-system

Greensboro:

http://www.bizjournals.com/triad/news/2017/05/25/why-triad-parks-dont-place-higher-on-national.html

Next City:

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/parkscore-2017-park-systems-ranked

ParkScore 2017 is coming on May 24

The Trust for Public Land will unveil the 2017 edition of ParkScore on Wednesday, May 24th.

The Parks and Recreation systems of the 100 largest US cities will be ranked from 1 to 100.  2017 will be the second year where we’ve evaluated and ranked 100 cities.  ParkScore began in 2012 with 40 cities ranked.

Before we launch, we wanted to provide the methodology behind ParkScore.

The methodology behind ParkScore is documented on the ParkScore website and is summarized by this handy chart…

methodology-circles

An individual city’s ParkScore is based on three factors…

Acreage or Park Size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks;

Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation & senior centers, and;

Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile)  Detailed information as to why we look at a 10-minute walk is covered in this post.

It’s important to note that we see ParkScore as a high level planning and analysis tool for park advocates and park planners and designers alike to plan for and advocate for parks as critical infrastructure for the each of the 100 largest US cities, which collectively have a population of 63 million and make up 20 percent of the US population.

ParkScore is a project of the Trust for Public Land.

We welcome your comments, questions and ideas on ParkScore or other work of the Center for City Park Excellence at ccpe@tpl.org

Why a 10-minute walk to a park?

10MW-legs-800x798

With the announcement on Tuesday of San Francisco becoming the first US city to achieve a 10-minute walk to a park for all citizens, we thought we’d provide the background on how we arrived to the 10-minute walk standard.  This research is also available on our ParkScore website under the methodology section.

And we’ll be talking about this a lot more beginning next Wednesday, May 24th, when we unveil the 2017 edition of Parkscore.

Why a 10-minute walk to a park?

We have identified a half-mile, or 10-minute, walk to a park as a common national standard.

As cities vie to attract talented college graduates and sustain population growth, they are focusing attention on parks to increase livability and support a strong economy. Since parks must be convenient if they are to provide their benefits, many places have set goals for the maximum distance any resident should be from the nearest park. Although individual cities’ goals vary with population density, from a remarkable eighth of a mile in Chicago to two miles in Atlanta, our data supports a standard of no more than a half-mile as a reasonable distance to walk to a park.

Among the 100 largest cities in the U.S., 70 have explicit distance goals, with 43 (61 percent) using a half-mile standard. Of the remaining 27 cities, 12 have a standard of less than a half-mile (many using a quarter-mile), and 15 have a standard greater than a half-mile.

We identified several studies suggesting that most people are willing to walk half a mile to a park. The largest, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2012 National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior, surveyed almost 10,000 people about their general walking habits.[1] The average trip length was 1.3 miles—roughly equivalent to the round-trip walk to a park located a half-mile from home. Of the walking trips reported in that study, 61 percent were for exercise, recreation, or walking the dog, with the remainder of trips split between commuting and errands.

A study of the Bay Area transit system found that 80 percent of transit riders who walked to the station lived within a ten-minute walk, or approximately a half-mile.[2]

Walking preferences are variable, with people willing to walk further for greater amenities in commuting, and even further for recreation. A planning study for a Seattle suburb found that people would walk nearly double the distance to a commuter rail station (1,700 feet) as they would to a bus stop (1,000 feet).[3] Looking beyond commuting, a study from Austin, Texas found that “utilitarian and recreational walk activities have been found to have distinct structural characteristics…Walk distance and duration for commuting, shopping, and reaching transportation are shorter, and recreational walks for exercise, walking the dog, and socializing are longer (71).”[4]

Some lower density cities have longer goal distances to a park, on the theory that suburbanites are more likely to drive to a park. However, the same Austin, Texas, study suggests that spatial and environmental factors are more important than individual factors” in determining walk length and duration (71).[5] That study found that people in modern suburban neighborhoods walked twice as long with their dogs and one-and-a-half times as long for exercise as those in more traditional urban neighborhoods.

Converting these distance standards to time standards hinges on how fast different people walk. The National Survey of Bicyclist and Pedestrian Attitudes and Behavior assumes an average walking speed of 0.53 miles in 10 minutes. The Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices guidelines, which are calculated to ensure that slow walkers can safely cross streets, uses an average walking speed of 0.45 miles in 10 minutes.[6] By any of these estimates, a 10-minute walk is a half-mile or close to it.

[1] U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, National Survey of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors (2012).
[2] California DOT, BART’s First Five Years; Transportation and Travel Impacts (DOT-P-30-79-8), (1979).
[3]The Snohomish County Transportation Authority, A Guide to Land Use and Public Transportation for Snohomish County, Washington (1989), http://ntl.bts.gov/DOCS/GL.html.
[4] Shriver, K., “Influence of Environmental Design on Pedestrian Travel Behavior in Four Austin Neighborhoods.” Transportation Research Record (1997), 64-75.
[5] Shriver, K., “Influence of Environmental Design on Pedestrian Travel Behavior in Four Austin Neighborhoods.” Transportation Research Record (1997), 64-75.
[6] LaPlante, J. and T. Kaiser, “A history of pedestrian signal walking speed assumptions,” 3rd Urban Street Symposium (Seattle, WA), (2007).