Concerned by limited amount of parks and open space in many cities across the U.S., the Trust for Public Land founded their Parks for People program to ensure that all citizens, especially children, have access to outdoor space.
Especially in urban settings, parks are vital resources, giving people space to play and explore, recreate, interact with their communities, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, housing and economic demands have led to a reduction in the amount of open space in cities. Studies show that park and playground space lead to less crime, better local economies, more community interaction, and better overall health – indicating the importance of maintaining these open spaces in urban settings.
Over forty years ago, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) made it a goal to ensure that all people live within ten minutes walking distance to an outdoor park or play space, the key element in their initiative Parks for People.
Through a citizen-driven design process, TPL works with communities to fund and build parks and open spaces. Informed by their research institute, the Center for City Park Excellence, TPL is working to generate the best practices for urban parks and green space. Since 2001, this Center has published annual City Park Facts, helping communities create their own public open spaces using TPL research. The TPL has also created tools for park planning, including GIS visioning software and fundraising assistance.