Irvine ranks seventh nationwide for parks, while LA falls in the ranking

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Irvine ranked seventh nationwide in an annual ranking of urban parking systems and resident access to recreational facilities released Wednesday, while Los Angeles fell from 49th last year to 71st place.

According to The Trust for Public Land, which compiles the annual ParkScore poll, Irvine topped the country for basketball hoops at 17.2 per 100,000, more than five times the national average.

The city has also been rated highly for park investment and access. 89% of the population live only 10 minutes’ walk from a park.

Los Angeles was attributed above-average investments in parks and the percentage of city space used for parkland. However, the authors of the reports said the city’s parking spending has declined in recent years and a new “equity factor” used for this year’s ranking lowered the city’s ranking.

According to the report, residents of the colored Los Angeles neighborhoods had access to 66% less parking space per capita than the predominantly white neighborhoods. Residents of low-income neighborhoods had 70% less parking space, the report said.

Long Beach was ranked 31st on the report, while Anaheim was ranked 58th, Riverside ranked 69th, and Santa Ana ranked 88th.

Washington, DC, was the top-ranking city on the report, followed by St. Paul and Minneapolis, which ranked first last year.

“Parks are always essential to our communities and even more valuable in times of crisis,” said Diane Regas, President / CEO of The Trust for Public Land, in a statement.

“During this extraordinary pandemic year, people relied more than ever on nearby parks, hiking trails and open spaces to do sports and connect with nature. Parks also served as makeshift community centers for emergency services such as food distribution, COVID testing, and vaccination centers. “

Last year, 57 of the country’s 100 largest cities used parks for COVID tests, vaccinations, or protective equipment distribution centers, and 70 offered free meals in parks, according to the trust.

Using the report’s release as a call to cities to increase spending on parks, the Trust noted that funding is at risk due to the COVID-related economic downturn.

“We need parks more than ever, and park attorneys are preparing for a fight,” said Bill Lee, senior vice president of the Trust for Politics, Advocacy and Government Relations.

“The Trust for Public Land helps lead a coalition of more than 300 organizations, corporations and community groups that support a significant investment in park capital through the bipartisan Parks, Jobs and Justice Act in Congress, and we challenge the private sector to invest $ 50 million through the Equitable Communities Fund to create parks and open spaces in historically marginalized communities. “

The ParkScore report rates cities based on criteria such as park access, acreage, investments, equity, and amenities such as dog parks, splash pads, playgrounds, leisure centers, and basketball courts.

Irvine ranks seventh nationwide for parks, while LA falls in the ranking was last changed: May 26, 2021 by Contributing Editor

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