San Francisco’s secret to supreme park-friendliness: spending

Map of New York City parkland. (Trust for Public Land)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

San Francisco spends nearly twice as much as New York City does per resident on parks and has much more park acreage per person, according to a study released this morning by the Trust for Public Land, a land-conservation nonprofit.

The study, called ParkScore, ranks the 40 largest U.S. cities based on the percentage of land mass devoted to parkland, spending and playground access per resident, and the proximity of parks to residents.

Based on those measurements, San Francisco was ranked the most park-friendly city, followed by Sacramento and then New York and Boston, which were tied for third. Washington, Portland, Virginia Beach, San Diego, Seattle and Philadelphia rounded out the top 10.

Fresno ranked last.

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

New York City scored well, but its parks system pales in comparison to San Francisco’s, according to the study.

For each San Francisco resident, $291.66 is spent on parks per year, compared to $152.39 in New York City.

And while in San Francisco there’s one acre of parkland for every 27.1 residents, in New York City, there’s only one acre for every 42.4 people.

Of course, New York City is a far denser and more populous city. And it did score better than San Francisco on a couple of measures: a slightly higher percentage of the city is devoted to parkland, and New York City has more playgrounds per resident. It also has proportionally more parkland, with 38,060 acres of parks to San Francisco's 5,384.