Posted on June 06, 2012 2:14 PM
ParkScore Helps Evaluate Need for More Parks
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) recently released ParkScore, a tool that measures how well cities are meeting the need for parks. It also includes an on-line mapping function that allows users to zoom down to their neighborhoods and examine specific areas that are underserved.
Chicago is among the 40 U.S. cities included in TPL’s ParkScore analysis. Previous analyses of the need for parks have been conducted for the Chicago area, including the Chicago CitySpace plan’s assessment of open space by Chicago Community Area and the preliminary analysis for northeastern Illinois that supported the Expand and Improve Parks and Open Space section of GO TO 2040. The TPL methodology tweaks these earlier approaches. For instance, it models park access in terms of a 10-minute walk to a park entrance, taking into account barriers such as train tracks or highways. It also examines which population segments – youth, low-income -- are particularly underserved.
It would be valuable to extend the ParkScore analysis beyond the City of Chicago. The analysis conducted for GO TO 2040 suggested that many areas in the region needed additional parks to meet recommended park access standards. The ParkScore tool could be used to help suburban park districts and municipal park departments in their planning efforts.
Click on image to see Chicago's Park Score.