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Cincinnati Parks Do Well In National Survey

smale park
Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati’s Park system is getting more national recognition in “The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore” index released Wednesday.

Cincinnati received 4.5 park benches in the index, ranking 7th among the 75 largest cities in the United States.  It is the first year the city has been included because the trust expanded the ranking from the 60 largest cities to the 75 largest.


According to The Trust for Public Land, the 10 highest-ranking city park systems in the United States are:
    1.    Minneapolis (tie)    
    1.    St. Paul (tie)    
    3.    Washington, D.C.
    4.    San Francisco     
    5.     New York (tie)
    5.    Portland (tie)    
    7.    Cincinnati      
    8.    Boston     
    9.    San Diego (tie)    
    9.    Seattle (tie)           

The index is based equally on three factors:

  •     Park Access - measuring the percentage of residents living with a 10-minute walk of a park
  •     Park Size - based on a city’s median park size and percentage of total city area dedicated to parks
  •     Facilities and Investment - park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park  amenities per resident (basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds and recreation and senior centers).

“Just running through our number 15.4 percent of the city’s land is park land, which is pretty good, it’s way above average” said Peter Harnick, Director of the Center for City Park Excellence for the Trust.  “The average size of a park is 4.5 acres, which is about average.  The spending on parks and recreation is on the high end, which is what we think leads to beautiful parks, well maintained parks and great recreational programming.”
Cincinnati was the top scoring Ohio city in the 2015 index.  The city scored high on “park facilities, ranking first among all 75 ParkScore cities for playground (10 per 20,000 residents).”  Cincinnati also did well for basketball hoops and senior and recreation centers.

Harnick said increasing park access in Cincinnati would help the city’s score.