• Who We Are

    City Parks Blog is a joint effort of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land and the City Parks Alliance to chronicle the news and issues of the urban park movement. Read more about us.
  • Urban Park Issues

  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new City Parks Blog posts by email.

  • Archives

  • Urban Green Cover Ad

Greater & Greener in Minneapolis & St. Paul

lighthouse

Not too many park systems have their own lighthouses…

falls

St. Anthony falls on the Mississippi

We’re just six weeks away from the start of the Greater & Greener Urban Parks Conference in Minneapolis and St. Paul and we want to encourage you to attend.  You can register on the website.

realbridge

hike/bike trail footbridge over a stream that empties into the Mississippi.

Recently, the Trust for Public Land held their first all-staff in person meeting in many, many years on the campus of the University of Minnesota and we were able to enjoy a little of these two great park systems. The weather was great and it should be an amazing conference there.  We’re posting a few pictures of what we saw to encourage you to register and join us. (The Trust for Public Land is a sponsor and will be well represented at the Conference. And of course, the City Parks Alliance is the presenter of the Greater & Greener Conference.

bridge

trail and steps leading back to the Grand Rounds trail system

bikecoop

building1

Great architecture can be found in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

City park facts: Minneapolis has 9 top ten rankings this year….

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board has nine top ten rankings in the 2017 edition of City Park Facts.

Minneapolis-parks-and-rec

The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence works to make cities more successful through the renewal and creation of parks for their social, ecological, and economic benefits to residents and visitors alike. To achieve this mission, we believe that residents, advocates, park professionals, planners, members of the media, decision-makers, and all those who love parks need solid data that elucidates the realities of urban park and recreation systems. Data is knowledge, and knowledge is power.

Minneapolis is one the 100 largest US cities and ranked number 1 overall in the 2016 edition of Parkscore.  But, more exciting is its individual rankings in nine out of the twenty categories that we are tracking:

  • #7 – 95% of population within a 10-minute walk to a park
  • #2 – 2.5 Recreation/Senior Centers per 20,000 residents (51)
  • #2 – 4.8 Ball Diamonds per 10,000 residents (195)
  • #3 – 2.9 Beaches per 100,000 residents (12)
  • #7 – 0.9 Pickleball courts per 20,000 residents (19)
  • #10 – 1.5 skateboard parks per 100,000 residents (6)
  • #4 – 11.8 Volleyball nets per 100,000 residents (48)
  • #3 – 69.6 restrooms per 100,000 residents (284)
  • #4 (tie) – 1.7 golf courses per 100,000 residents (7)

City Park Facts is a collaboration between the many city, county, state and nonprofit parks agencies and conservancies that work with us to submit their data and we appreciate your continued help and involvment. The staff of the Center for City Park Excellence works to present this information in a thorough yet easy-to-use format, and your feedback is important for future editions. You can contact us at ccpe@tpl.org

7,453 Miles of Parkland Bikeways

14392121024_2469665a12

Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX

The growing popularity of bikeways (often called hike and bike trails or linear parks) in our parks continues to climb, based on our annual surveys for City Park Facts and Parkscore. Please note that parkland bikeways don’t include bike lanes, sidewalks and other on-street or off-street portions of a city bicycle network or system.

In terms of total miles Irvine leads the pack with 324 miles, Phoenix has 310 miles, Anchorage 295 miles, Scottsdale 269 miles, Jacksonville 244 miles, and Philadelphia 241 miles.

grand_rounds_06

Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System, Minneapolis

In the Per 10,000 residents column, Number one is Irvine with 13.4 miles per 10,000 residents,  Scottsdale is second with 11.6 miles per 10,000 residents.  Third is Anchorage with 9.7 miles per 10,000 residents.

beltline-map

Beltline Map, Atlanta

Here are a few of our favorite bikeways, among hundreds to choose from.

Learn more about City Park trends in the 2017 edition of City Park Facts, coming in April to the Trust for Public Land website. If you have questions or comments about this or other city park facts, contact us at ccpe@tpl.org. The City Parks Blog is a joint project of the City Parks Alliance and the Trust for Public Land.

The Creative Culture of Parks: Moving from Pop-ups to Permanent

Can pop-up parks and public space projects trigger investment in new public parks?  Is there a role for community-generated projects in the formal planning process?

ccop2The Miami Foundation is working to find out with its Miami Public Space Challenge, now going into its fifth year.  The Public Space Challenge uncovers the best ideas for creating, improving and activating parks, plazas, and local gathering places. Since 2013 more than 1,432 project submissions have been made and $870,000 awarded for 70 projects.  Continue reading

Is Your Park System Fair?

Probably not. Maybe in the historically ethnic sections of town too many parks have broken-down playgrounds or a few too many weeds. Maybe over the past couple of years, dollars have been flowing heavily to the same few parts of town. If so, your city wouldn’t be alone in this. Many places are trying to do better. In Minneapolis, this has meant a revamped approach to park projects.

Since there is never quite enough funding to go around, the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board’s new 20 Year Neighborhood Park Plan includes a rigorous system to prioritize capital investment and large rehabilitation projects for neighborhood parks. The system is uniquely point-based, and also stands out in its emphasis on racial and economic equity. Continue reading