About the Author
Chad Swiatecki is a 20-year journalist who relocated to Austin from his home state of Michigan in 2008. He most enjoys covering the intersection of arts, business and local/state politics. He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, New York Daily News, Texas Monthly, Austin American-Statesman and many other regional and national outlets.
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Austin’s park system gets rated
Austin ranked 43rd in a recent index looking at the quality of parks systems in 100 U.S. cities by the Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore index. The analysis – the group’s eighth – is based on the belief that city residents should have easy access to parks, with the goal of having a park located within a 10-minute walk from where they live. Washington, D.C., claimed the top spot in the rankings, with Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Minneapolis claiming second and third place, respectively. The finer points of Austin’s ranking show the city ranks low in access – 59 percent of residents achieving the 10-minute rule – but better in terms of acreage and total investment made to the city’s 359 parks. The study also looks at the demographic breakdown of park access as well as the geographic distribution of parks across the city.