Urban Parks Grew in 2011, as Employment Declines

The 100 largest U.S. cities added 120 new parks last year, but overall spending remained largely flat. Approximately half the cities experienced cuts in their parks budgets, forcing departments to defer maintenance costs even as usership grows.

A new report from The Trust for Public Land shows that cities added parks in 2011, but managed to do so without increasing budgets. How'd that work?

"Despite aggregate increases in acreage and facilities across the U.S., many city park departments are struggling with funding shortages. Operational spending shrank by 0.6 percent overall, with close to half of cities experiencing cuts. Full-time employee counts fell by 3.9 percent, a loss of 935 jobs nationwide."

"Budgets grew slightly overall, but not enough to sustain jobs or overcome increasing – and often deferred – maintenance costs. Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence, noted that 'cities are still saddled with a reported $5.8 billion in deferred repairs and improvements.' That figure is only slightly smaller than the total parks expenditure of the 92 cities that provided financial data for FY 2009, which equaled $6.1 billion."

Thanks to Ryan Donahue

Full Story: 2011 City Park Facts Released: Urban Parks Grow as Employment Declines

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95