May 6, 2022 - News

Detroit ranks above average in park access

A playset is shown at Riverside Park, with the Ambassador Bridge in the background.

Riverside Park on the southwest riverfront. Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

While we have above-average access to parks, the city lacks recreation centers, according to the latest annual report from the nonprofit Trust for Public Land.

  • In an overall ranking of 100 U.S. cities' parks, Detroit comes in at 57, ahead of cities like San Antonio (59), Tampa (60) and Los Angeles (78).
  • The three highest-ranked are Washington, D.C.; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Arlington, Virginia.

Why it matters: Being outdoors increases quality of life and improves health outcomes.

By the numbers: Detroit got pretty good marks on access: 83% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, compared with the median of 75% for the 100 most-populous cities.

  • We have 5.6 basketball hoops and 4.6 playgrounds per 10,000 residents — compared with 6.9 hoops and two playgrounds in top-ranked Washington, D.C.
  • There's few recreation and senior centers here: just 0.5 per 20,000 residents.
  • Detroit’s parks get $27 of private investment per person, compared with the national average of $5.

Go deeper: A map from the Trust for Public Land shows where the city could use more park space.


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