Minneapolis parks named best in the nation for second straight year

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May 29, 2014
By: Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson

Once again Minneapolis received a perfect “5-park bench” rating to take top honors in The Trust for Public Land’s annual analysis of city park systems.

Minneapolis is the only city to score a perfect rating in the three years The Trust for Public Land has been performing its ParkScore index. The inaugural set of rankings analyzed the country’s 40 most-populated cities, which left Minneapolis out with the country’s 48th-highest population.

In 2013 the top 50 cities were analyzed and this year that was expanded to the top 60. According to census data, St. Paul is the country’s 66th-largest city, leaving it out of the rankings.

A city’s ParkScore is based on three factors: park access, which is the percentage of residents living within a 10 minute walk of a park, park size, which factors in median park size and percentage of total city area dedicated to parks, and services and investment, which combines the number of playgrounds per 10,000 city residents and per capita park spending.

Minneapolis was rated in the top 20 cities for each of the five assessment tools, including placing second in per capita park spending ($213.87 per resident) and fifth in percent of residents within a 10 minute walk of a park (94%).

New York City was ranked second with a 4.5-bench score, same as last year, and Boston, San Francisco and Portland locked in a three-way tie for third place with a 4-bench score to round out the top five cities.

An in-depth breakdown of each city’s park system is available at parkscore.tpl.org.