Which Cities Have the Best Parks?
We at abcFlora.com have been organising the delivery of flowers to cities across the globe for quite some time now, and in doing so we’ve come to love the unique personalities offered by each of the world’s urban centres. However, as lovers of nature, it goes without saying that we also find pleasure in experiencing the more pastoral aspects of different locations. And of course, one of the best ways to find a city’s green space is by going to its parks.
But which of the world’s cities have the best parks? We wanted to use real-world data to work out the answer.
It was under this line of thinking that we carried out the following study. We gathered data relating to the parks in 60 of the world’s best-known cities, allowing us to discover how busy each city’s parks are, as well as how highly rated they are on Google. This in turn gave us the means to generate a comprehensive ranking based on general park quality.
Which locations do you think will be at the top? Read on to find out…
At the top of the ranking is the beautiful metropolis of Prague. The 13th largest city in the EU and home to over 1.3 million people, Prague’s parks have an impressively high average review score of 4.59 out of 5. Despite its reputation for stunning classical architecture, it seems that the city’s rustic side is not to be underestimated either.
While there are plenty of great choices throughout the city, some of Prague’s most well-known parks include Havlíčkovy Sady and Letná park.
In 2nd and 3rd are Moscow (4.67) and London (4.56) respectively. Although these two cities are far more densely populated than Prague (Moscow with 12.5 million residents and London with 9.4 million residents) both of them maintained very high scores, with the Czech capital not far ahead of them.
Now let’s take a look at the other end of the spectrum – of the cities we analysed, which ones have the lowest scores?
The lowest ranking city on our list is the capital of Peru, Lima. Despite its parks having a respectable average review score of 4.29, the city suffers due to its particularly uneven ratio of parks to residents, with a total 453,448 people for every park. That said, the city is one of the larger locations to be included in our study – with a population of over 10 million, it’s no wonder that it’s so densely populated.
Lima is followed by Cape Town in 2nd and Athens in 3rd. While neither of these cities have as high average review scores for their parks as Lima, both have noticeably lower populations vs their park densities. Sadly for the Greek capital, many of its parks are shut at the moment due to concerns regarding numerous fires caused by Europe’s unprecedented heatwave this summer.
Next, let’s look at the specific factors we used to collate the above rankings, beginning with which city’s parks have the highest average review scores on Google:
The city with the highest rated parks on average is Moscow. We’ve already seen the Russian capital come 2nd in the overall results, so it’s no surprise to see it score highly here. When you take into account some of Moscow’s spectacular buildings (such as St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin), it’s no wonder that the city’s parks are equally impressive. Funnily enough, 2nd and 3rd are occupied by Prague and London, meaning that the top three in our overall ranking are the same as in this one (albeit in a different order).
Now let’s see which city’s parks have the lowest average review scores:
At the other end of the ranking, Tokyo’s parks have the lowest average rating. Of course, this isn’t to say that the city scored badly – 4.029 out of 5 is still a good result. However, it still scored over 0.1 less than Hong Kong in 2nd with 4.14.
Every city appearing in this bottom 10, aside from Tokyo and Hong Kong, is located in Europe. This includes two cities in Italy (Naples in 3rd and Milan in 10th) and two cities in the UK (Glasgow in 4th and Manchester in 9th).
Finally, which cities have the busiest parks in the world?
The city with the least busy parks is the Welsh capital, Cardiff. It’s also the least heavily populated city on this list as well, which no doubt influenced proceedings.
Most of the rest of the top 10 are made up of locations with less than 2 million residents – with the twin exceptions being Chicago in 9th with 2.6 million people, and London in 10th with 9.4 million people.
Our last table sees Lima at the top once again, this time ranked as the city with the busiest parks, perhaps why it scored so poorly overall. While it’s still one of the smaller cities in this ranking (for instance Shanghai and Beijing have 27.7 million and 20.8 million residents respectively), its population of 10.8 million still means there are over 453k residents for every park in the city.
Something we noted when comparing this table to the worst rated cities is that, while the worst rated cities were primarily European, the cities with the busiest parks are far more evenly split. Three are South American, three are Asian, three are European and one is African.
We gathered data from several sources to collate our rankings.
TripAdvisor was used to find out how many parks are listed in each city, then divided each city’s number by their respective populations to discover how many citizens there were for each park.
As for the review scores, we used the Google Places API to calculate the average review rating of up to 60 randomly selected parks within each city.
Once we had the data for each factor, we standardised their respective results using the following minmax normalisation formula:
Result = (x-min(x))/(max(x)-min(x))
This provided every city with a score between 0 and 10 for each data point. These numbers were then added together, the results were again normalised to a score between 0 and 10 and then ranked accordingly.
If you’d like to see the full rankings for all 60 cities, in addition to the rankings for 15 of the UK’s largest cities, click here.