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Nonprofit ranks Cincinnati parks 4th best in nation, compared to 100 largest U.S. cities

Equity in park access was one of city's lowest scores
Eden park cincinnati skyline
Posted at 12:46 PM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-05 12:48:48-04

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati parks are the 4th best in the nation compared to the 100 largest cities in the U.S., according to a rating from conservation nonprofit Trust for Public Land.

The Queen City's parks were beat out by Arlington, VA, St. Paul, MN and Washington, DC.

The ranking was calculated by scoring parks on five indicators: how many people live within a 10-minute walk of a park, size and percent of acreage dedicated to parks, park spending per resident, how many amenities parks have, and equity of distribution of park space according to race and income.

Cincinnati scored an 82 out of 100 in the nonprofit's analysis of the amount of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park. Acreage was the city's lowest score, pulling a 60 out of 100 for amount of space dedicated to parks. Investment and amenities both brought in a score of 92 out of 100, though equity was the city's second-lowest score, coming in at 62 out of 100 for accessibility of parks to all Cincinnatians regardless of race and income.

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A report from conservation nonprofit Trust for Public Land showing where they have calculated a need for parks, juxtaposed with existing park space in Cincinnati

The nonprofit reported that 88% of residents in Cincinnati live within a 10-minute walk of a park, higher than the 75% median score for top cities considered in the data.

The report also said that "residents in neighborhoods where most people identify as a person of color have access to 4% less park space per person than those in predominantly white neighborhoods." Black neighborhoods in Cincinnati had 16% less access to parks than the city's median access, Trust for Public Land said.

Those in low-income neighborhoods had 17% less access to parks than the city's median, and 23% less park space per person than those in higher income neighborhoods.

Park amenities ranked high for Cincinnati parks in the categories of basketball hoops, playgrounds, bathrooms, recreation and senior centers and splashpads. Dog parks ranked much lower in Cincinnati, with only 1.6 dog parks per 100,000 people; the nonprofit rated Cincinnati a 60 out of 100 in that category.

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