Parks are essential and dynamic spaces. When people have access to a quality park close to home, they experience better mental and physical health, stronger social ties, and a more climate resilient future. Investments in these green spaces reflect the core values and goals of a community. They are visible expressions of the type of world we want to live in and leave for future generations. But it’s difficult to identify which investments are needed. That’s why local leaders rely on Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® index: a powerful tool that gives communities the information they need to help close the park equity gap. It rates park systems across the U.S. by comparing five categories: equity, access, investment, amenities, and acreage.
Based on our analysis, New Haven’s park system received a ParkScore® rating of 60.4/100 points, indicating that it ranks slightly above average when compared to the most populous cities in the country. 96% of residents live within a 10-minute walk to a park, meaning thousands of New Haveners enjoy the benefits of a close-to-home green space. But there’s opportunity for investment in neighborhoods of color, where residents have access to 47% less park space per person than those in white neighborhoods, and in low-income neighborhoods where similar disparities exist relative to wealthy neighborhoods. New Haven ranked among the lowest third of the country’s most populated cities in terms of park spending per resident, but this score presents great opportunity. New park investments and funding at the state or local level would be game-changing for New Haven communities and enable long-term sustainability, health, well-being, and resilience. Our report provides the data local leaders need to strategically update and improve New Haven parks to better serve all residents regardless of zip code.
Want more details? Download the New Haven ParkScore® Analysis.