IMPORTAT NOTE (9/26/12) : I do not work with Rebar, I’m just an independent researcher interested in urbanism and maps. The thematic maps below are NOT meant to be taken as “official” PARK(ing) Day statistics. They are based on the points people have plotted on the PARK(ing) Day 2012 Google Map as of the Saturday after the event. My purpose of this post and these maps is threefold: (1) I want to promote more discussion about PARK(ing) Day, (2) I want to hopefully improve the accuracy in the number of pop-ups reported, and (3) i’m trying to incite a little friendly competition between cities and states, which will hopefully increase the number of parks for 2013. Thanks for all the great feedback from folks.
If you didn’t already know, PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. While PARK(ing) Day is a truly global event, with hundreds of pop-up parks around the world, I wanted to place the event in the US context, to look at participation levels across the nation.
So which US State won? Well, no one really “wins” PARK(ing) Day, but in my opinion, every state and city that was able to pull off a park is a winner, and those states that couldn’t get a park together this year, hey… PARK(ing) Day 2013 will be here before you know it.
After I downloaded the KML data for the park locations from the official PARK(ing) Day map last night (the Saturday after the event), there were 890 parks plotted on the Google Maps site by participants worldwide – 582 of which were in the US.* While there are probably some parks being added here and there in the days after PARK(ing) Day 2012, I went ahead and decided make some maps. So if you feel your state is underrepresented due to late additions to the Google Map, let me know, and I’ll remake the maps soon.
This first map shows the number of pop-ups per state, with California way out there in the lead. The top five states by number of parks were:
#1 California (195 parks)
#2 Pennsylvania (37 parks)
#3 Maryland (34 parks)
#4 Kentucky (31 parks)
#5 New York (29 parks)
The second map makes for a better state to state comparison by calculating the number of people per parks in each state. The states with the most parks per resident were:
#1 Kentucky (1 park for every 139,979 residents)
#2 Maine (1 park for every 147,596 residents)
– (D.C. had 1 park for every 150,431 residents, 4 parks total)
#3 Oregon (1 park for every 166,568 residents)
#4 Maryland (1 park for every 169,810 residents)
#5 California (1 park for every 191,046 residents)
*586 was the US total by Sunday afternoon ET.