Boston, MA

10
How we calculate the Boston ParkScore® Ranking

The ranking for Boston is based on how it compares nationally on five characteristics of an excellent park system: access, investment, acreage, amenities, and equity.

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Access
100 pts
Acreage
49 pts
Investment
79 pts
Amenities
58 pts
Equity
78 pts
100% of Boston residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
Median City, 100 most populous U.S. cities: 74%
Median City, all urban cities and towns in U.S.: 55%

We’re working to ensure that every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America has a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home.

Boston residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park
By Age (%)
Children (0 - 19)
100
Adults (20 - 64)
100
Seniors (65+)
100
By Income (%)
High Income
100
Middle Income
100
Low Income
100
By Race/Ethnicity (%)
Native American*
100
Asian*
99
Black*
100
Hispanic
100
Pacific Islander*
100
White*
100
2 or More Races*
100
Other*
100
*Excludes those that report Hispanic origin (which is captured separately from race by the U.S. Census).
Comparing amount of park space between neighborhoods by race/ethnicity
Residents in neighborhoods of color* have access to 4% less park space per person than the city’s average neighborhood and 12% less than those in white neighborhoods. Additionally, we compared park space in the city’s average neighborhood with others by specific race and ethnicity:
*Neighborhoods of color are defined as those in Boston with the highest concentrations of people who identify as Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, multiple races, or other communities of color (more information).
Comparing amount of park space between neighborhoods by income
Residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 14% less park space per person than those in the average Boston neighborhood and 19% less than those in high-income neighborhoods.
19% of Boston’s land is used for parks and recreation.
National median 15%
How do park amenities measure up?
These six amenities reflect activities popular among a diverse selection of user groups (kids, teenagers, adults, seniors). For each amenity, Boston is awarded points based on their abundance relative to the other 99 cities.
Basketball Hoops
53/100pts
4.5 per 10,000 people
Playgrounds
40/100pts
2.8 per 10,000 people
Rec & Senior Centers
64/100pts
1.1 per 20,000 people
Dog Parks
65/100pts
1.8 per 100,000 people
Bathrooms
28/100pts
0.9 per 10,000 people
Splashpads
100/100pts
12.5 per 100,000 people
How much is Boston investing in parks?
We compared Boston with the other 100 most populous cities in the nation on total park investment per person, aggregating all public and private spending for any publicly accessible park in the city.
Park Investment (Three-Year Average)
  • City agency
    $78 (44%)
  • Other public agencies
    $51.95 (30%)
  • Private organizations
    $43.55 (25%)
  • Monetized volunteer hours
    $2.54 (1%)
$176
Total Spending Per Capita
  • National benchmark: Relative park spending by organization type
  • Average among 100 most populous cities
  • City agency: 85.5%
  • Other public agencies: 7%
  • Private organizations: 5.5%
  • Monetized volunteer hours: 2%
  • Total per capita spending: $108 per person
Make the Commitment
Pledge to make parks a priority!
Everyone should have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk of home. Our 10-Minute Walk™ Program calls on mayors to demonstrate their commitment to parks and adopt long-term, system-wide strategies that accelerate the creation of parks.