City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Number of City Park Acres per 1,000 Population

Measure Description
This measurement serves as an indicator of how well Austin is acquiring additional parkland in an effort to keep up with its population growth, shows the relationship between Austin’s population and available parkland, and provides a comparison of Austin with other similarly sized cities throughout the U.S.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated by dividing the total number of City of Austin park acres by the city population and multiplying the factor by one thousand. The total acreage data is provided annually by the PARD Senior GIS Analyst, who prepares a monthly inventory of park assets based on GIS analysis and mapping.
FY 2014-15 Results
The goal for this measure was established at 23.5 acres per 1,000 residents for FY 2014-15. The result was 22.1 acres per 1,000 residents, which was slightly below the goal.
Assessment of Results
The number of park acres per 1,000 population chart illustrates the history of the acreage ratio of parkland versus population for the last five years. The National Recreation and Park Association recommends a ratio of 10 acres per 1,000 for cities in Austin’s population range. The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) excels with a high parkland acres ratio per 1,000 residents, and its goal is to maintain approximately 24 acres of parkland for every 1,000 citizens of Austin. PARD is responsible for about 300 parks and maintains over 20,000 acres of greenspace. As the population increases, park acres must also increase in order to maintain the target ratio of 24. Austin’s full-service population has increased 11% since FY 2010-11, from approximately 800,000 to 888,000 in FY 2014-15. PARD generally acquires land using four funding sources: General Obligation Bonds, parkland dedication, grants, and donations. In FY 2014-15, 65 acres of new parkland were purchased and 28 acres were acquired through parkland dedication. This is down overall from FY 2013-14 levels, when 81 acres were purchased and 21 acres were acquired through dedication. A creative acquisition process will be needed to maximize acquisitions.
Picture of acres of green parkland.
Next Steps
In FY 2015-16, PARD intends to focus on greenway acquisitions and partnerships with the Austin Independent School District for additional, targeted infill park opportunities and work with the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Planning Division and other City agencies to develop land acquisition synergies.
Contact Information
For more information contact Ricardo Soliz, Planning and Design Division Manager, (512) 974-9452.