By 2030, New York City wants 85 percent of New Yorkers to live within a 10-minute walk from a parkand they don't mean those tiny "parks" sandwiched between roads. Officials look at an open space ratio, and take into consideration how many people you are sharing your slice of greenery with. Alyssa Cobb Konon, the Assistant Commissioner for Planning and Parklands for the New York City Parks Department, told WNYC that there are 2.83 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents. In other words, "a little more than two football fields that you get to share with 999 other New Yorkers." But WNYC crunched the numbersand made two interactive mapsthat shows this ratio varies greatly depending on where you live.
To create these maps, WNYC used census tracts and population data from the 2010 census, and parks data from a variety of sources: NYC open spaces data, OpenStreetMap data for state and national parks, and some manual collection. The green and pink maps show how much open space is available to 1,000 residents. Deep pink areas have less than 2 acres, green plots have more than 12 acres.
Unsurprisingly, Staten Island has the most open space (it's basically the suburbs), with more than five football fields (about 7 acres) of space per 1,000 residents, but there are a few pockets in the borough that have way more than that as well. Census tract New Springfield - Bloomfield - Travis, which has just 105 residents, offers a veritable forest of open space, with each person having more than 16 acres to himself.
South Brooklyn and most of Queens don't have much open space at all, and parks-lovers should stay away from Sunnyside and West Maspeth. There are a few tracts in this area that have just 0.4 acres to share with 999 other people.
The other map shows the distance, "as the crow flies," to parks. Dark brown sites have to hike more than a half mile, while blue-green areas are closer. A cluster in Ditmas Park near 21st Street and Dimas Avenue is rather park-starved, as are the blocks between East 77th Street to 81st Streets and Second and Third Avenues.