San Francisco Named Top Three City in Trust for Public Lands Newest Park Ratings

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco became the first city in ParkScore history to receive a perfect score for park access on The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore® index. The city climbed to 3rd  place from last year’s 5th spot, pulling ahead of Washington, DC, and Arlington, VA. San Francisco also earned a perfect “5 park benches” evaluation from the nonprofit organization.

San Francisco was the highest ranking Bay Area park system evaluated. In just the last six years, the City has dedicated $380 million of parks bonds to improve parks citywide. Moreover, the City has purchased underutilized lots, and turned them into parks and open spaces such as the new Noe Valley Town Square and the park at 17th and Folsom which will open in June. Great parks are anchors of healthy, sustainable communities and vibrant American cities.

ParkScores are based on three factors: Park Access, which measures the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park (approximately ½-mile); Park Size, which is based on a city’s median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks; and Facilities and Investment, which combines park spending per resident with the availability of four popular park amenities: basketball hoops, off-leash dog parks, playgrounds, and recreation & senior centers.

In addition to ranking park systems in the 100 most populous U.S. cities, ParkScore also provides a one-to-five park bench rating summary that provides a snapshot of local park quality. In 2017, three cities received the highest possible 5-bench rating: Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and San Francisco.

“I am so proud of the work we do as a City to ensure that we build and maintain incredible parks and that all residents have access to them,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “We continue to improve, and stay at the top of the list. This score validates that.”

In addition to its historic 100% score for park access, San Francisco also received strong marks for reserving 20% of city acreage for parks.

“You can’t have a great city without a great park system,” said Adrian Benepe, Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land. “Our top-ranked park systems are terrific, but all cities have room to improve. ParkScore is a tool that city leaders can use to guide park improvement, helping planners identify where they should focus their efforts, so more residents can live within a 10-minute walk of a well-planned and well-maintained park.”

For more on San Francisco’s achievement of the 100% score for park access, visit:

For more information about ParkScore, visit and join the discussion on Twitter @TPL_org, #ParkScore.


About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit


Rec & Park Logo