Boston, MA
2021 ParkScore® ranking: #12
Our analysis is based on five characteristics of an effective park system:
access, investment, acreage, amenities, and equity.
How we calculated Boston’s ParkScore rating:
Access
100 out of 100
Acreage
47 out of 100
Investment
78 out of 100
Amenities
65 out of 100
Equity
78 out of 100
How does it work?
Cities can earn a maximum ParkScore rating of 100 points,
calculated as an average of their points for each of the
five categories. In evaluating park systems, we include
all publicly accessible land within the 100 most populous
U.S. cities that functions as a park. ParkScore index methodology
We're working to ensure there's a park within a 10-minute walk of home
of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America.
Is Boston meeting that goal?
100%
of residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park.
National average 55%
Percent of residents within a
10-minute walk of a park by age
Children (0 - 19)
Adults (20 - 64)
Seniors (65+)
Percent of residents within a
10-minute walk of a park by income
Percent of residents within a 10-minute walk of a park by race/ethnicity

*Excludes those that report Hispanic origin (which is captured separately from race by the U.S. Census).

Park Space Per Person by Race/Ethnicity Relative to City Median

Selected Findings:

Residents in neighborhoods of color have access to 6% more park space per person than the city median and 13% less than those in white neighborhoods.

Any Census-designated race/ethnicity not shown above does not meet the minimum threshold to be displayed.

Park Space per Person By Income Relative to the City Median

Selected Findings:

Residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 9% less park space per person than the city median and 20% less than those in high-income neighborhoods.

19%
of Boston's city land is used for parks and recreation.
National median 15%
Where in Boston are parks needed most?
Boston has 880 parks
We’ve mapped park access in 14,000 cities and towns across the country. Our free mapping platform helps you pinpoint where to focus park investments in your city.
Explore the map
See Boston's Map
Boston Park Amenities Compared to the 100 Largest U.S. Cities
Basketball Hoops
57 th percentile
3.5 per 10,000 people
Dog Parks
75 th percentile
1.9 per 100,000 people
Playgrounds
79 th percentile
3.9 per 10,000 people
Bathrooms
37 th percentile
1.3 per 10,000 people
Recreation and Senior Centers
71 st percentile
1.1 per 20,000 people
Splashpads
100 th percentile
11.3 per 100,000 people
Boston’s Park Spending Per Capita
Boston’s total spending per capita: $154
National Averages, Spending Per Capita:
City agency: $81 (85%)
Other public agencies: $6 (6%)
Private organizations: $5 (5%)
Monetized volunteer hours: $4 (4%)
TOTAL: $96
Mayor Martin Walsh has pledged to adopt long-term, system-wide strategies to make sure every Boston resident has access to all the benefits parks provide.
"I have endorsed the vision that evryone should have a park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home." — Mayor Walsh
Learn about the 10-Minute Walk campaign
Partner with us
You believe we all need access to great parks. We can help you reach that goal.
Contact Kelly Boling, Massachusetts State Director at the Trust for Public Land
Contact us
We’re helping people connect with nature near you
Garrison-Trotter Farm

There are 2,600 vacant lots scattered throughout Boston-and they've got potential. The Trust for Public Land is working to transform unused, city-owned land into neighborhood farms that will create new job opportunities and provide residents with locally grown, nutritious produce.

Photo of kids planning with a map, phones, laptops

The Trust for Public Land is helping residents of Boston’s Grove Hall neighborhood transform a prominently situated vacant lot into a new park, through a partnership with the Boston Parks & Recreation Department and Boston Department of Neighborhood Development.

Photo of a man at a farm

As in many cities around the country, low-income neighborhoods in Boston are burdened with high unemployment rates and limited access to healthy food. Together, these factors contribute to a local food crisis that disproportionately affects the city's most vulnerable people.