The City of Irvine park system has been ranked 7th in the nation by the Trust for Public Land in their annual ParkScore Index, which ranks the nation’s 100 largest cities based on factors including park access, acreage, investment, and amenities. Irvine is the second-ranked city in California, and this is the sixth consecutive year the City’s parks have ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Irvine earned a perfect score in parkland percent of city area, the number of basketball hoops per 10,000 residents, and the number of recreation/senior centers per 20,000 residents. The index also notes that 89% of Irvine parks are within a 10-minute walk of each residence, an increase from the 2020 ranking of 82%. The ParkScore ranking includes parks, facilities, and amenities managed by the City, either through ownership or joint-use agreements.
“We are proud to have one of the top 10 park systems in the nation for the sixth consecutive year,” said Irvine Mayor Farrah N. Khan. “The importance our parks have played in the community’s mental and physical health this past year cannot be overstated. Our valuable parks and open space are one of the many reasons Irvine is an ideal home for families, kids, individuals, and outdoor enthusiast of all kinds.”
This year’s ranking included a new equity calculation that evaluates how park resources are distributed within a city. It measures the park acres located within a 10-minute walking distance and nearby park space per person. The measurements are then compared for two demographic categories: Communities of Color versus White Communities and Low-Income Neighborhoods versus High-Income Neighborhoods. Measurements are evaluated relative to each city and outliers are removed from the rankings to avoid any bias.
The percent of residents within a 10-minute walk of parks across all races and ethnicities ranked 84% or higher. Additionally, Irvine residents in low-income neighborhoods have access to 11% more park space per person than the City median and 14% more than those in high-income neighborhoods.