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Minneapolis Parks Are Best in U.S. According to New Study

The Minnesota city came out on top in the Trust for Public Land's 2016 ParkScore rankings

Ever wondered how your city stacks up against others across the U.S. when it comes to the accessibility of wide open spaces (namely, parks)? A new study from the nonprofit Trust for Public Land (TPL) ranks the park systems of the 100 most populous American cities, and the results may surprise you.

Minneapolis, a city not known for being particularly green, clinched the top spot in the TPL survey, racking up the greatest number of points on the organization's ParkScore scale. ParkScore uses three criteria to rank the access a city provides to green space: "the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park"; "a city's median park size"; and "park spending per resident... and the availability of basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and senior centers."

By those measures, Minneapolis came out on top, eking out a win against its sister city, St. Paul, Minnesota, with which it tied in TPL's 2015 study. St. Paul came in at a close second. The rest of this year's top five include Washington D.C. (at number three), nearby Arlington, Virginia (at number four); and in the fifth spot, San Francisco.

In a release, the Trust for Public Land pointed out that although Minneapolis was the strongest all-around scorer, some cities shone more brightly by certain metrics. San Francisco, for example, "provides the greatest park access, with 99 percent of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park." And though Charlotte, North Carolina, which tied Indianapolis for the 95th slot, has the largest median park size at just under 16 acres, but "its overall ranking was hurt by low marks for park access and park facilities." Sorry, Charlotte residents.

To learn more, and take a look at the full study, head on over to the Trust for Public Land's ParkScore website.