Minneapolis named America's best city for parkland and green spaces

If a stroll in the park features high on the itinerary for your perfect city break, then Minneapolis may be the destination for you.

Minneapolis best US city for parkland. Image by Ron Reiring / CC BY 2.0

The Trust for Public Land has named Minneapolis, Minnesota as America’s best city for parkland and green spaces. In its 2016 ParkScore®, which ranks park systems in the 100 largest US cities, Minneapolis narrowly beats its neighbour Saint Paul to the top spot. Washington DC came third, and Arlington, San Francisco, Portland, New York City, Irvine, Boston, Cincinnati and Madison, complete the top 10, with Cincinnati and Madison tied for tenth place.

Medicine Lake Park, Minneapolis. Image by atramos / CC BY 2.0

It’s no surprise Minneapolis scooped the top spot. Renowned for its parks and lakes, Minneapolis reserves 14.9% of city area for parkland and 95% of residents live within a ten-minute walk of a park. “Everyone in America deserves to live within a ten-minute walk of a park, and ParkScore® helps us measure which cities are meeting that mark,” said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land. This year’s results also reveal that ParkScore® may have a positive effect on a city’s attitude towards providing green spaces. The Trust for Public Land reports that ParkScore® cities ranking for a second year increased spending on parks by an average of $1 per person in 2016. Although NYC slid down the rankings slightly this year, they upped their park spending by a whopping $14 per resident compared to last year.

“Cities are investing in park systems and that’s showing up on the ParkScore® index. It is great news for public health, the environment, and local economies,” said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land. “Parks provide places for children and adults to get exercise, and they serve as local meeting places where friendships are built and a sense of community is strengthened,” he added.