City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

ParkScore Ranking: Park Quality Ranking out of 100

Measure Description
The Trust for Public Land evaluates park systems owned by regional, state, and federal agencies within 75 of the most populous U.S. cities. Each city is given a ParkScore of one to five for quick reference, of which the City of Austin received a score of three.
Calculation Method
To determine a city’s ParkScore, points are assigned in three major categories including Acreage, Facilities and Investment, and Access. Cities are given 40 points for Acreage (20 points for median park size and 20 points for park acres as a percentage of the city area). Median park size is calculated using park inventories acquired from park owning agencies within each city. Park acres as a percentage of adjusted city area is calculated using data collected in an annual survey conducted by Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence. A total of 40 points is the amount of Facilities and Investment points a city can earn based on two equally weighted measures—total spending per resident and an average of per-capita provision in four key areas (i.e. basketball hoops per 10,000 residents, dog parks per 100,000 residents, playgrounds per 10,000 residents, and recreation/senior centers per 20,000 residents). And finally 40 Access points are given for percentage of the population living within a ten-minute walk of a public park. Each city’s total points out of a maximum of 120 are then normalized to a ParkScore of up to 100.
FY 2014-15 Results
Austin’s 2015 Trust for Public Land ParkScore is 57.5. This means that Austin ranks 31 out of 75 of the most populous cities in the nation in the three categories of Acreage, Facilities and Investment, and Access.
Assessment of Results
Austin’s overall combined ParkScore was 57.5 out of a maximum of 100 points with a score of 3 park benches and an overall ranking of 31 out of 75 of U.S largest cities. FY 2015-16 marked the first fiscal year that PARD utilized the ParkScore as a key performance indicator. The goal is to continue to use these industry leading benchmarks as a guide to improving Austin’s park system, and PARD will work diligently to better scores in the areas of Acreage, Facility and Investment, and Access. For this assessment, Austin’s park system was evaluated using a population estimate of 885,400 residents. A more detailed breakdown of the score based on the three major categories is as follows: 1) for Acreage, the overall score received was 35 out of 40 points, with the median park size scoring 20 out of 20, and park land as a percentage of City Area scoring 15 out of 20; 2) for Facilities and Investment, Austin received 18 out of 40 points; and 3) for Access, Austin received 16 out of 40 points. This total raw score of 69 points was normalized down to a final ParkScore of 57.5.
Picture of citizens enjoying Butler Park.
Next Steps
The Department will continue to use the Trust for Public Land ParkScore Index as a standard for park excellence. As the Department completes its strategic planning initiative, the areas of Acreage, Facility and Investment, and Access scores will see an improvement in the next five years.
Contact Information
For more information contact Kirk Scanlon, Business Process Consultant Sr., (512) 974-6795.