This article originally appeared on columbusunderground.com.
Columbus ranked 62nd on The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore Index for 2018, falling from 56th place in 2017’s ranking of park systems in the 100 largest U.S. cities.
ParkScore rankings are based on four factors: park access, which measures the percentage of city residents within a 10-minute walk from a park; park acreage, which looks at the city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; park investment, which measures park spending per resident; and park amenities, which looks at available park features such as water play structures, recreation centers, and off-leash dog parks.
Recent additions to the park amenities factor hurt Columbus’ ParkScore. According to The Trust for Public Land, Columbus only offers 0.5 water play structures per 100,000 residents and 1.9 restrooms per 10,000 residents, both below the national averages of 0.9 and 2.4, respectively.
However, Columbus did score above the national average in terms of park acreage and investment. Columbus’ median park size sits at 7.8 acres, compared to 5.0 acres nationally, and annual park spending is at $104 per resident, ahead of the national ParkScore average of $87.
As a whole, 70 percent of residents in ParkScore’s ranked cities live with a 10-minute walk of a park in 2018, up from 69 percent last year. The Trust for Public Land is leading the charge in making this a possibility for every U.S. resident. The 10-minute goal is endorsed by more than 200 mayors nationwide.
“The research is clear: quality, close-to-home parks are essential to communities. Everyone deserves a great park within a 10-minute walk of home,” said Diane Regas, president and CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “These rankings are the gold-standard for park access and quality, and empower people to hold their leaders accountable.”
For more information about the ParkScore Index, visit tpl.org/10minutewalk.