NEWARK, NJ – The city of Newark may be an urban hub, but the parks housed in its historic concrete and brick buildings have been recognized as the best in the country.
The Trust for Public Land, a coalition committed to the preservation and health of parks and green spaces, placed Newark 42nd in its top 100 annual ParkScore rankings. The city was named for having parks within 10 minutes’ walk of more than 90% of its residents.
Newark also jumped 27 parishes from its rating of 69 in 2020. In 2019, Brick City was 74 on the list.
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“The Trust for Public Land’s report on American urban parks showed us two things: how far Newark has come and how far we need to go,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. “By adding Nat Turner Park to our administration earlier, our strong recreational programs and our commitment to improving our green spaces, we have improved our quality of life and sustainability for our residents.
“We hope that COVID subsides in the summer and that we start our seasonal programs, residents and visitors take the time to enjoy our parks,” said Baraka.
The TPL report is based on its ranking of five characteristics of an effective parking system: access; Investment; Acreage; Amenities; and equity.
- 91 out of 100 for access
- 14 out of 100 for the acreage
- 33 out of 100 for investment
- 37 out of 100 for amenities
- 93 out of 100 for equity
The report found that 93.7% of Newark residents, regardless of age or income level, live an average of 10 minutes’ walk from a park.
Residents in colored neighborhoods also have one percent more parking space per person than the city average and 36% more than in white neighborhoods, according to the report. Meanwhile, according to the report, 6% of the land is used for parks and recreation.
The report is a positive keynote for the city, which is currently undertaking several green initiatives.
In April, Newark took a step closer to providing greener public transportation options after the city council passed an ordinance introducing a licensing system for the operation of shared dockless bikes and scooters.
The ordinance follows the city’s NewarkGo initiative aimed at connecting residents to workplaces, schools, homes, healthcare facilities and other essential services through the pilot joint dockless vehicle program. The initiative is intended to complement the use of public transport and create more pedestrian-friendly quarters without being solely dependent on the car.
In March, the city received a $ 328,618 grant to help improve waste reduction and recycling. Funding came as part of $ 16 million in grants made by the government of Gov. Phil Murphy was granted to make nationwide efforts for local governments and communities to support their communities with cleaner, greener initiatives.
Last month, a proposed 9-mile greenway path that will meander through communities in Hudson and Essex counties, including Newark, received critical support from several business leaders in the city as the project entered its earliest planning and surveying stages entry.
Following the TPL’s announcement, Newark joins a notable list of cities that have also been recognized for their green spaces and parks.
The top 12 cities were in this order: Washington, DC; St. Paul; Minneapolis; Arlington, Virginia; Chicago; San Francisco; Irvine, California; Cincinnati; Seattle; Portland, Ore .; New York; and Boston.
To see the full ParkScore leaderboard, visit https://www.tpl.org/parkscore.