Where do NYC, Jersey City, Newark Park Systems Stack Up Nationally?

May 25, 2018

Newark rose 8 spots from last year to 73rd.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

New York City is ranked 9th on The Trust for Public Land annual ParkScore index.  They rate park systems based on access, size, investment, amenities.

“How many residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park, spending per resident, and a bunch of what we call amenities, basketball hoops, dog parks, playgrounds, recreation and senior centers, and splash pads,” said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President with The Trust For Public Land.

Jersey City fell 13 spots to 53rd.

“Jersey City is not strong on investment,” Benepe said.  “It’s about $29 per person being spent on parks.  The national median is $87.  In the top ParkScore cities like New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco, they are spending around $200 per person.  In Washington it’s almost $300 a person.”

Newark rose 8 spots from last year to 73rd. 

“As we add parks, as we convert school yards into playgrounds in Newark you’re going to see movement,” Benepe said.  “We’ve already seen movement in the spending per person.  It should climb again next years because we’re looking at a three-year average.  What we find is that Mayor’s and county executives find that there is tremendous value in parks.”

Benepe believes every city resident deserves quick and easy access to a park.

“The Trust for Public Land is leading a campaign aimed at Mayor’s, that [states] everyone in America deserves a quality park within a ten-minute walk.  This ten-minute walk campaign has been supported by Mayor Baraka, Mayor de Blasio and it’s something we’re driving.  We hope to work with cities over the next five to ten years to get them to add to parks.”

According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking park systems in the United States are: 

Rank City ParkScore (Max: 100) 

1. Minneapolis, MN 84.2 

2. Saint Paul, MN 82.4 

3. Washington, DC 81.9 

4. Arlington, VA 81.6 

5. San Francisco, CA 79.6 

6. Portland, OR 78.3 

7. Cincinnati, OH 78.2 

8. Chicago, IL 76.1 

9. New York, NY 74.8 

10. Irvine, CA 73.4 

The lowest-ranking park systems are: 

90. Baton Rouge, LA 32.9 

91. Memphis, TN 32.8 

92. Winston Salem, NC 31.9 

93. Laredo, TX 31.5 

94. Fresno, CA 30.9 

95. Hialeah, FL 29.7 

96. Mesa, AZ 28.4 

97. Charlotte, NC 25.0