For the eighth consecutive year, the City of Irvine park system has been ranked among the top 10 in the nation by the Trust for Public Land.
Irvine ranked fourth in the country and first in California in the national nonprofit’s annual ParkScore Index, which is recognized as the national gold-standard comparison of park systems across the 100 most populated cities in the United States. The index is based on factors including park access, acreage, investment, and amenities.
“I am thrilled that Irvine has once again been recognized as having one of the best park systems in America,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “Our parks and open space are a vital part of our community, bringing people together, allowing us to reconnect with nature, and improving our physical and mental health. As our City grows, we remain dedicated to the preservation of natural open space, parks, and trails. This week, we launched the next phase of development at the Great Park. And earlier this year, we announced our plans to establish Gateway Preserve, which will bring hundreds of additional acres of open space to Irvine.”
The ParkScore Index looked at park access and equity and found that 94% of Irvine residents live within a half-mile walk of a park. In addition, 91% of people in low-income households live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
Irvine also earned perfect scores for investment and acreage.
- A total of $284 per capita is spent each year on publicly accessible parks and recreation, which is among the highest nationwide.
- About 26% of the City is considered publicly accessible parkland, earning Irvine a perfect score for the percentage of overall area dedicated to parkland.
In addition, Irvine received high marks for specific amenities. The City received a perfect score for the number of basketball hoops — there are 480 available through City-owned facilities and joint-use agreements with Irvine and Tustin unified school districts for shared gymnasium spaces. Irvine also received a perfect score for the number of public restrooms available within City parks, with a total of 166 restrooms citywide.
The preservation of natural open space, parks, and trails has always been an essential part of the Irvine Master Plan, and it continues to guide the City as it plans for the future. On May 23, the City held a groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction on the next phase of development at the Great Park, which will bring over 300 acres of innovative and unique public space to the park, including lakes, gardens, live music, museums, wide-open meadows, and space to honor those who served.
Earlier this year, the City announced plans to establish Gateway Preserve, which will bring hundreds of acres of open space to North Irvine, two thematic parks, and additional trails for hiking and biking.
In addition, in December 2022, Irvine demonstrated its commitment to further expand safe and equitable access to parks and green spaces by joining the Trust for Public Land’s “10-minute Walk Program,” which supports cities in closing the park equity divide in the U.S.
The ParkScore ranking includes parks, facilities, and amenities managed by the City, either through ownership or joint-use agreements.