San Francisco is the first U.S. city to offer all its residents access to a park within a 10-minute walk, it was announced Wednesday by The Trust for Public Land, which assesses the parks of the country’s 100 biggest cities.
In the 2016 ParkScore rankings, San Francisco rated a perfect 40 out of 40 on the access metric, which measures the percentage of the city’s population living within a half-mile walk of a public park. Sacramento, by comparison, scored a 29 in access, tying it for 29th in the nation.
Sacramento’s goal is to have a park within a half-mile of every resident, but there are big disparities and older neighborhoods such as Fruitridge/Broadway and south Sacramento fall short, The Bee’s Foon Rhee wrote when last year’s rankings were released.
“In San Francisco, we want everyone to enjoy the prosperity of this city, which is why it is particularly meaningful that we have a parks system that is accessible and enjoyable for all of our residents,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee in a news release. “We are proud to be the first city in the nation to have a least one open space within a 10 minute walk of every resident. We are maintaining our record investment into our local parks so that all San Franciscans can continue to enjoy our wonderful natural environment.”
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Overall, Sacramento’s parks ranked 17th among the nation’s biggest cities; San Francisco was fifth.
San Francisco has invested $355 million in parks and open space during Lee’s tenure, according to the release, and his upcoming two-year budget plan proposes $84.4 million in capital projects for the Recreation and Park Department, which would be an 81 percent increase from 2015.
“Most city residents won’t walk more than 10 minutes to get to shopping, transit, or parks, so close-to-home access to parks is vital for public health, clean environments, and thriving, equitable communities,” said Adrian Benepe, The Trust for Public Land’s Urban Parks director. “This is an enormous achievement.”