As of October 19, all Boston homes are now within a 10-minute walk of a high-quality park. Boston is only the second city in the U.S, after San Francisco in May of 2017, to achieve this goal.
This announcement comes almost a year after the historic “10-minute Walk” parks advocacy campaign that was launched on October 10, 2017, by the Trust for Public Land, National Recreation and Park Association, And Urban Land Institute. The campaign was endorsed by 134 cities at its launch, including Boston by Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
“Today marks an enormous achievement based on years of dedicated and thoughtful planning by the City of Boston,” said President and CEO of the Trust for Public Land Diane Regas. “Our research tells us that close-to-home access to parks is vital for public health, clean environments, and thriving, equitable communities.”
The purpose of the 10-minute Walk campaign is for all Americans to eventually have a high-quality park or green space within half a mile from their home. According to the Trust for Public Land’s website, studies show that having high-quality parks benefit both the residents and the cities.
Credit: An infographic from the National Recreation and Parks Association
According to the Trust for Public Land, parks contribute to the physical, social, environmental, and economic health of a community. It is beneficial for the environment because increasing the number of parks and green spaces will help clean and cool the air, assisting in climate resilience.
Currently, 56% percent of Americans do not have access to a park within half a mile of them, according to the Trust for Public Land. In Boston, only 3,394 residents do not have parks within 10 minutes walking distance. However, out of a population of around 685,000, that is less than 0.5% of all residents.
“In Boston, we are proud of our world-class park system and the investments that have been made. Reaching this milestone is a big step for our city to ensure that every resident, no matter the neighborhood, has a high-quality park or open space within a 10-minute walk of home,” said Mayor Walsh. “There is still much work to be done, and we are working every day to make our park system the best in the world.”
The 10-minute walking access to parks is only part of the investment being made towards renovating Boston. This comes as a result of the $230 million Walsh allocated for Boston parks: This is part of the city’s Image Boston 2030 plan, a citywide plan to maintain and enhance Boston finalized in June 2017. It is the largest capital funding ever being put towards Boston’s parks, which total 5,204 acres.
Part of this investment will go towards renovating some of Boston’s green spaces, including Franklin Park and Boston Common, as well as creating new parks.
While achieving the goal of high-quality parks within a half a mile of all residents is only a small part of the Image Boston 2030 plan, it demonstrates the progress Boston is making.