Mar 10, 2023 - News

Dallas still doesn't have enough parks

We want more of this in Dallas. Photo: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dallas hopes to create enough parks so every resident can be within a 10-minute walking radius of one.

The latest: The Trust for Public Land now has a list of city-owned properties that could potentially be turned into green space.

Why it matters: Public parks are an equalizer. Unlike arboretums, country clubs or gyms, anyone can enjoy them for free.

State of play: Dallas has opened several new parks in the past few years and has ambitious plans for new deck parks — like Klyde Warren — and dedicated green space at Fair Park.

Flashback: In November, the mayor requested an inventory of all city-owned land that is either vacant, unused or underused to determine whether any could be turned into parks or playgrounds.

  • The land identified could also possibly be used to develop affordable housing, the mayor said.

The big picture: Texas cities lag other major U.S. cities in the Trust for Public Land's annual ParkScore, which analyzes green space acreage, public investment, amenities and access.

  • Plano ranked as the top city in the state and 15th in the nation in last year's report.
  • Dallas landed in the 53rd spot, below Austin but above Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.

Details: Currently, about 73% of Dallasites live within a 10-minute walk of a park, compared with 77% of Plano residents and 61% of Fort Worth residents.

  • 98% of residents in Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington, D.C., are within a 10-minute walk of a park.

Reality check: It's not enough to just open a green space in a neighborhood. Parks departments and city leaders need to dedicate continuing resources to the maintenance of parks and ask residents what works for them.

  • "The ideal park is one that's first off responsive to community needs," TPL Texas state director Robert Kent tells Axios.

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