Denver, CO

13
How we calculate the Denver ParkScore® Ranking

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

Download Denver’s ParkScore Report

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Acreage
51 pts
Access
89 pts
Investment
75 pts
Amenities
62 pts
Equity
69 pts
92% of Denver 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.

Denver residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park
The average distance most people are willing to walk to reach a destination is 10-minutes or roughly half a mile. The 10-minute walk standard helps us examine the availability of parks close to home.
By Age (%)
Children (0 - 19)
92
Adults (20 - 64)
92
Seniors (65+)
93
By Income (%)
High Income
93
Middle Income
92
Low Income
94
By Race/Ethnicity (%)
Native American*
93
Asian*
90
Black*
89
Hispanic
93
Pacific Islander*
77
White*
93
2 or More Races*
92
Other*
93
*Excludes those who report Hispanic origin (which is captured separately from race by the U.S. Census).
Comparing amount of park space between neighborhoods by race/ethnicity
Across the country, parks located in neighborhoods with a majority of residents of color are half the size of parks in predominantly white neighborhoods yet serve five times more people per acre, according to TPL park equity data. In Denver, residents in neighborhoods of color* have access to 5% less park space per person than the city’s average neighborhood and 18% 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 Denver 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
Across the country, parks serving low-income households are four times smaller yet serve four times more people per acre than parks serving high-income households, according to TPL park equity data. In Denver, residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 26% less park space per person than those in the average Denver neighborhood and 26% less than those in high-income neighborhoods.
5% of Denver’s land is used for parks and recreation.
National median 15%
How do park amenities measure up?
Parks help foster healthy, inclusive, and flourishing communities—the cities with the highest ParkScore ratings are healthier places to live. These six amenities reflect activities popular among a diverse selection of user groups (kids, teenagers, adults, seniors). For each amenity, Denver is awarded points based on their abundance relative to the other 99 cities.
Basketball Hoops
56/100pts
4.7 per 10,000 people
Playgrounds
59/100pts
3.7 per 10,000 people
Rec & Senior Centers
46/100pts
0.8 per 20,000 people
Dog Parks
71/100pts
1.9 per 100,000 people
Bathrooms
40/100pts
1.2 per 10,000 people
Splashpads
100/100pts
2.7 per 100,000 people
How much is Denver investing in parks?
We compared Denver 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. Visit our City Park Facts database to see how the other big cities stack up.
Park Investment (Three-Year Average)
  • City agency
    $167 (98%)
  • Other public agencies
    $0 (%)
  • Private organizations
    $1.79 (1%)
  • Monetized volunteer hours
    $0.75 (0%)
$170
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.
A statement from Mayor Michael Hancock
Mayor Michael Hancock has pledged to adopt long-term, system-wide strategies to make sure every resident has access to all the benefits parks provide.