The team at Pots Planters & More examined 100 cities across the country to find which were the most favourable for lovers of the outdoors. Public parks were a huge factor in the rankings; they look at the number of acres available per 1000 residents, how many people were in walking distance of the parks and how much public money was spent on their upkeep.
Other factors that also contributed to the rankings were the quality of the air, the average annual temperature and house and rent prices. Overall, the top 25 list has a good geographical spread, a mix of bigger and smaller cities and even places usually more known for their harsh seasonal weather – like El Paso or Madison – than being a top choice for spending time outdoors.
New Orleans took the top spot, an achievement the study authors partially attribute to the sustainable building efforts after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. This, combined with the high number and quality of parks, good air quality and a relatively comfortable temperature all year round makes it a solid first place winner.
Here are the top ten best US cities for outdoor space:
You can see the full list of 25 and their individual rankings for factors here.