First there was WalkScore and then there was TransitScore--now the Trust for Public Land has released ParkScore, which analyses the public park systems of the 40 largest cities in the country. Spoiler alert: Los Angeles doesn't rate very well. Out of a maximum ParkScore of 100, Los Angeles received a 43.5 (for people who prefer round numbers and graphics, TPL also gives LA a rating of two park benches out of five). That score translates to the twenty-fifth spot on the list, behind all the Sans--San Francisco (#1), San Diego (#8), and San Jose (#12), as well as Long Beach (#19). Helpfully, the ParkScore website includes an interactive map that zooms deeper into neighborhoods to get a more local look. Hollywood, for instance, is mostly covered in red, which designates "Very High" need for a park (even the fabled cat park that emerged from Hollywood Community Plan debates would probably help; the actual Hollywood Freeway cap park will probably be even better).
Here are some of the more pithy statistics on Los Angeles's park situation:
-- Median park size: 6.66 acres
-- Park land as percentage of city area: 14.1%
-- Playgrounds per 10,000: 1
-- Park acreage: 23,938 acres
-- People served per park acre: 82
-- Oldest park: El Pueblo, est. 1781
-- Largest park: Topanga State Park (part), 8,960 acres
-- Most-visited park: Griffith Park
ParkScores are calculated based on "the three most important characteristics of an effective park system: acreage, services and investment, and access." Two of those characteristics are further broken down: acreage points equally weigh median park size and park acres as a percentage of city area, services and investment points equally weigh playgrounds per resident and total spending per resident. Access awards for percentage of the population living within a ten-minute walk of a public park. The park score only counts publically owned park space, so Maguire Gardens, for instance, doesn't count.
· ParkScore [Trust for Public Land]
· The 5 Most and Least Walkable Stations on Metro Rail [Curbed LA]