LA's Public Park System Now Ranks 74th In The Nation

Chicago ranks just shy of the top 10 USA cities with the best park systems, according to a new list released Wednesday.

In addition to ranking park systems in the 100 most populous US cities, ParkScore also provides a one-to-five park bench rating summary that provides a snapshot of local park quality. The index ranks park systems in the 100 most populous USA cities on park access, size, facilities, spending and the availability of popular park amenities.

The organization bases its ParkScore rankings on three factors: park access, which looks at the how many people live within a 10-minute walk (or a half-mile) of a park; also park size; and how much cities invest into facilities.

San Francisco scored among the nation's top cities for parks yet again in an annual survey. The term parks was broadly defined to include large parks - like Lincoln Park and Grant Park - small neighborhood parks, trails like The 606 and playgrounds. However, only 54% of city residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park (compare that to San Francisco, which might be a tech-bus dystopia, but is still a tech-bus dystopia where a 100% of city residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park).

"Our top-ranked park systems are terrific, but all cities have room to improve", Benepe said.

The city also received high marks for parks spending on operations and capital projects.

However, the county reserves 11 percent of its land for parks, which is low among cities with top park systems but above the national average of 9 percent.

County to Sell Millions in Bonds - The County Board has approved issuing up to $185 million in general obligation bonds to help fund various capital priorities, including: Metro, Neighborhood Conservation, paving, parks land acquisition, maintenance capital, Lubber Run Community Center planning, Nauck Village Center action plan and transportation. At our current rate of spending $84.81 per resident on parks, L.A. falls right above the national average of $80, "but that's still pretty low", according to Hiple. The annual report analyzes parks in the 100 most populous cities in the United States.

Why, you might wonder, does having a park within a 10-minute walk matter for access? The city provides only 1.4 basketball hoops per 10,000 residents and two dog parks for the entire city.

  • Larry Hoffman