Irvine ranked sixth among the nation’s 100 biggest cities for its overall commitment to providing parks and amenities, up four spots from last year, according to an annual survey released Wednesday by The Trust for Public Land.
Long Beach placed 18th on the list, up from 21st last year, while Los Angeles checked in at 55th, up 11 spots from 2018.
“Mayors and city park directors across the United States recognize that quality, close-to-home parks are essential to communities,” Diane Regas, president/CEO of The Trust for Public Land said in a statement. “Parks bring neighbors together and help cities fight climate change. Parks are proven to improve physical and mental health and get children and adults to put down their phones and enjoy the outdoors.”
The rankings are based on four factors:
— park access, which ranks the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park;
— acreage, comparing the city’s overall size to the percentage of area dedicated to parks;
— investment, with measures a city’s per-resident spending on parks; and
— amenities, which considers the availability of facilities such as dog parks, basketball courts, playground structures, etc.
According to the advocacy group, Irvine’s rise in the rankings was triggered by joint-use agreements with schools to give the public access to campus park facilities on weekends and after hours.
Los Angeles moved up the last thanks to an increase in park spending that led to improved access for residents, with 61% of Angelenos now living within a 10-minute walk to a park, up from 56% last year but still below the national average of 72%.
Anaheim placed 57th on the list, up from 68th last year.
Washington, D.C., topped the national list, followed by St. Paul, Minnesota; Minneapolis; Arlington, Virginia; and Portland, Oregon.
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