How Well do You Know Your Park?

The Trust for Public Land just released data on the 77 most populous cities’ parks. Think you know your park? It may be that time of year to think again.

This is your first of three free stories this month. Become a free or sustaining member to read unlimited articles, webinars and ebooks.

Become A Member

The Trust for Public Land just released its City Parks Facts for 2009 and it serves as an awesome reminder that despite the economic crisis, parks should be at the forefront of the discussion of livability in cities. Given my location in Philadelphia, I was most interested to learn about this city’s park system — and of course, to compare it to other cities.

Fairmount Park photo by Tony the Misfit via Flickr.

For example, while Philadelphia’s parks amount to 12.6 percent of its geographic area, they account for an amazing 19.6 percent in New York City and only 8.2 percent in Chicago.

But as the stats get more complex, they get more interesting. For example, Washington, D.C. has the highest amount of park acreage per 1,000 residents — a whopping 12.9 acres. New York has just 6 acres per 1,000 residents ( but maybe that’s ok, it’s what makes Central Park so great for people watching).

Central Park photo by Wally G via Flickr.

There’s more surprising info in the mix. In terms of number of park playgrounds per 10,000 residents, the city of Cincinnati is leading the pack with 4.8 playgrounds per 10,000 residents. While New York City has 10 times as many playgrounds as Cincinnati, it has only 1.2 playgrounds per 10,000 residents.

Which city’s residents spend the most on playgrounds? San Francisco. With about $300 spent per resident on playgrounds. I don’t mean to pick on Buffalo, but it spends only $12 per resident on playgrounds.

Bet you can guess what the most visited park is — Central Park — but can you guess the third most visited? It was a complete surprise to me. Guess you’ll have to download the report to find out.

Like what you’re reading? Get a browser notification whenever we post a new story. You’re signed-up for browser notifications of new stories. No longer want to be notified? Unsubscribe.

Diana Lind is the former executive director and editor in chief of Next City.

Tags: new york cityphiladelphiainfrastructureparkssan franciscocincinnatibuffalo

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 1104 other sustainers such as:

  • John in Dayton, OH at $120/Year
  • Andrea at $100/Year
  • Caryn at $120/Year

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

has donated ! Thank you 🎉