Philadelphia Gets a 3-Park Bench Rating on ParkScore

New York, Portland and Minneapolis were in the top 5.

From The Trust for Public Land, parkscore.tpl.org.

From The Trust for Public Land, parkscore.tpl.org. Click to enlarge.

The third annual ParkScore index from the nonprofit Trust for Public Land has been released, and Minneapolis took top honors: a perfect 5-park bench rating. Philly came in at No. 20, with a 3-park bench score. The index bases its ratings for the country’s 60 largest cities on three factors:

Park access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile);
Park size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks;
Services and investment, which combines the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita park spending.

According to the Trust’s announcement, their use of advanced GIS mapping technology makes this project the most sophisticated in terms of measuring a city’s green space.

Instead of simply measuring distance to a local park, ParkScore’s GIS technology takes into account the location of park entrances and physical obstacles to access. For example, if residents are separated from a nearby park by a major highway, ParkScore does not count the park as accessible to those residents (unless there is a bridge, underpass, or easy access point across the highway).

Here are Philly’s stats:

City area: 82,913 acres
Median park size: 3.6 acres
Park land as % of city area: 13.5 %
Spending per resident: $60.66
Playgrounds per 10,000: 1.6
Population density: 18.7 per acre
Park acreage: 11,211 acres
People served per park acre: 138
Oldest park: East Fairmount Park, est. 1855
Largest park: Fairmont Park/Wissahickon Valley, 4,167 acres
Most-visited park: Fairmount Park

ParkScore Rankings




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  • kclo3

    The prime reason why we’re only in the 66th percentile is because of 10-minute walk park access, which I suppose has to do with inaccessibility in the Far Northeast and interspersed parks in South and North Phila.