Top Ten Cities for Parks (Chicago Didn’t Make the List)

Washington_Square_Park_Fountain,_ChicagoParks create more beautiful and happy cities. Open green space in urban settings has a positive effect on the happiness of the city dwellers, which has been documented in study after study. Further, as CO2 traps, they make cities healthier.  Cleaner air benefits everyone, but its effects are particularly acute for seniors, children and asthma sufferers.

So how does Chicago compete with the rest of the country in open space and parks?  According to Parks Score, not horribly, but not too well. While Chicago (ranked 12th) is not able to break the top 10, it does stand close to the top. What causes that disparity? In part, it’s the challenge of having so many small parks. This distribution makes parks accessible to large numbers of people but it’s also more expensive to manage. So although Chicago ranks high in park spending, the city doesn’t boast as much parkland as its greener counterparts. Read more