So what is this #10minwalk campaign all about?
Read all about it in these F.A.Q.’s from The Trust For Public Land
Why do we need more parks?
As new research from The Trust for Public Land shows, one in three Americans don’t have a park or
open space within a 10-minute walk (or half-mile) of home. Working across cities and public/private/
philanthropic partnerships, our goal is to improve park access so that all Americans have a quality park
within a 10-minute walk.
Why are parks important?
Parks improve the physical, social, environmental, and economic health of communities:
- Health: Across all age groups, greater access to parks is associated with reduced stress, reduced
risk of depression, and greater mental health and well-being.
- Environment: A city of well-connected green spaces is more resilient to extreme environmental
events, such as heat waves and extreme rainfall.
- Economic: City parks and other urban natural areas produce benefits with estimated values of up to
$6.8 billion annually. In 2013, America’s local and regional public park agencies generated nearly
$140 billion in economic activity and supported almost 1 million jobs from their operations and
capital spending alone.
- Community: Urban parks stimulate social cohesion and foster community among different
demographic groups. Local parks have been found to be the common factor for city dwellers
developing stronger social ties with their neighbors.
What are American mayors announcing on October 10th?
More than 130 mayors from across the country, cities big and small, and The U.S. Conference of Mayors
have all joined this unprecedented campaign – led by The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with National
Recreation and Park Association and the Urban Land Institute – to improve access to public parks and open
spaces for all Americans.
Is this a bipartisan movement?
Mayors on both sides of the aisle have joined this campaign. All cities benefit from parks!
What resources exist to help cities achieve this goal?
We’re leading a national campaign to ensure that every person in America has access to a quality park
within a 10-minute walk of home. But the scope of the problem we’re working to solve—that is, how many
Americans live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and how many don’t—had never been fully calculated.
The tools just didn’t exist—so we built them. The Trust for Public Land’s ParkServe® platform allows users
to explore how many people have access to a park, at any scale—from neighborhood to nationwide. Now
everyone, from city officials and urban planners to students and grassroots activists, can easily explore local
park systems and advocate for more and better parks in their communities.
What happens after October 10th?
The launch is simply the kick-off. This campaign will continue for the coming years, and we will be adding
more cities and mayors over time. In addition, we will work directly with mayors, city officials, and partners in
select cities via a technical assistance competition to help them develop targets and strategies for advancing
the 10-minute walk.
How many people in Burlington live within a 10-minute walk of a park?
Through the ParkServe® platform, The Trust for Public Land is in the midst of mapping park access for 14,000
cities and towns across America, meaning that for the first time in history, all parks in cities and towns will be
mapped. As of campaign launch, ParkServe currently includes data analysis for more than 100,000 parks in
close to 7,700 communities. They expect to complete this process in the spring.
How many parks will our city need to build in order to ensure 100 percent of the population
lives within a 10-minute walk of a park? How much will all of this park-building cost us?
Where is the money going to come from to build all these parks? Who will pay for this?
Because The Trust for Public Land is still in the process of mapping park access for America’s cities, we’re not
at the stage to be able to quantify exact costs and total number of parks required to achieve this goal. We
know that nationally thousands of new parks will need to be created to achieve the goal of a 10-minute walk
to a park for all. In each city, the number of new parks required will depend on the city’s approach, including
its ability to eliminate barriers to existing parks (for example, by building a pedestrian bridge), as well as its
ability to open school playgrounds to the public after hours.
While we wholeheartedly support any investment in parks, improving park access and quality will not
necessarily require major investment of new funds. Existing federal, state, and city infrastructure funding can
support park building, renovation, and maintenance, especially for parks that provide active transportation
options, help manage stormwater, and offer other benefits. Additionally, creative financing measures for urban
parks can help cities create dedicated funding streams for capital investments, maintenance, and operations.
No matter what resources it takes to address this issue, we know that one in three Americans currently don’t
have a park or green space within a 10-minute walk of home. And even for those that do, many of those
spaces are uninviting, underfunded, and haven’t reached their potential. Everyone deserves a park—and this
campaign marks an historic turning point toward creating great parks for all.
Our city has a wide variety of social problems and spending needs (e.g. rising number
of homeless; economic inequality and lack of affordable housing; and inadequate
infrastructure / public transportation.) Why is building parks more important?
Research shows that parks help address the many challenges cities face, from ensuring community health
and vitality, to mitigating the impacts of climate change, to addressing inequities among residents. For
example, greenways can alleviate transportation and infrastructure challenges and new parks can be
integrated into large-scale planning for affordable housing and development.
This campaign isn’t about parks versus other priorities. Parks are an essential component of healthy livable
communities, along with affordable housing, improved infrastructure, and good schools. All of these
priorities complement and support each other to create great quality of life for everyone in America.