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Open space per resident shrinks below national average as Denver swells with new residents

Posted: 11:59 AM, May 24, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-24 14:03:56-04
Open space per resident shrinks below national average as Denver swells with new residents

DENVER — Don't be surprised if you increasingly feel crowded in Denver. From sidewalks to roadways, and certainly parks — Denver is filling up as people flock to the city. 

A group that monitors public land has routinely watched public space in Denver shrink to an above-average state for cities comparable in population and land size. 

According to the Trust for Public Land group's recently released 2017 report, there are 6,222 acres of park land for Denver's 670,000 residents. They calculate 9.3 acres of land per 1,000 residents. 

That number, while lower than the median 9.8 acres of public land per 1,000 residents for all cities comparable to Denver in size, actually is up over last year. 

The report showed not a slowing in growth in Colorado, but an expansion of parks in the City and County of Denver.

In 2017, the recorded 6,222 acres of park land is significantly higher than the 5,957 acres recorded in 2016 and the 5,900 acres recorded in 2010. 

So how has the amount of space per resident changed over the past few years of Denver's growth? See a table below:

2017 — 9.3 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. 

2016 — 9.0 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. 

2015 — 9.1 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. 

2014 — 9.3 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. 

2010 — 9.9 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents. 

Across the U.S., all cities average out to 13.1 acres of public land per 1,000 residents, but that counts some outliers like Honolulu, which offers 12,000 acres of public land within city limits. That puts the city at 34 acres of public land per 1,000 residents. 

The city with the highest parkland per resident ratio is Anchorage, Alaska. It boasts just under 1 million acres of public land in city limits with a grand total of just under 3,000 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents.