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In Happier Parks News: “Washington, DC, defends title as best large urban park system in the country”


photo by Jeanette.Cook

From a press release:

“Trust for Public Land announced today that Washington, DC was ranked the best large city park system in the country by the ParkScore® 2024 index. Minneapolis, Minnesota, moved up to second place, Saint Paul was third, Irvine, California, finished fourth and Arlington, VA maintained its fifth place. The ParkScore index evaluates park systems in the 100 largest cities in the United States.

2024 is the fourth consecutive year Washington took the ParkScore crown and Arlington finished in the top five.  

Both cities ranked highly in all ParkScore index rating factors. Ninety-nine percent of Washington and Arlington residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, far exceeding the national ParkScore average of 76 percent. Both cities also do better in investing in parks. Washington spends $345 per resident on parks and Arlington spends $303. Both cities more than double the national city ParkScore average of $124.

Washington also outperformed on ParkScore’s park equity metrics. District residents who identify as Black, Latino, Indigenous and Native American, or Asian American and Pacific Islander are just as likely to live within a 10-minute walk of a park, as are residents of neighborhoods where the majority of the population identifies as white. Park space per capita is also almost equally distributed in Washington.

In contrast, among all ParkScore cities, neighborhoods where the majority of residents identify as people of color have access to an average of 45 percent less park space than predominantly white neighborhoods. Residents of low-income neighborhoods have access to 45 percent less park space than residents of high-income neighborhoods.

Along with the annual rankings list, Trust for Public Land released new research reporting that residents of cities with high ParkScore rankings are, on average, more socially connected and more engaged with their neighbors than residents of cities with public parking systems. lower classification parks.”