Miami Ranked a Miserable 38th in Nation When It Comes to Parks

Categories: Environmental

Parking_Lot.jpg
A Miami "park"
The Heat may be the best basketball team in the nation, but when it comes to this city's public parks, Miami performs more like the miserable Marlins.

According to Parkscore rankings released yesterday, Miami is one of the worst major cities in the country when it comes to providing green space for its citizens. The Magic City came in at number 38, tied with Houston, Nashville, and Tucson. We were even way behind concrete wastelands like Oakland, Phoenix, and Detroit (although that last one is cheating: kudzu vines reclaiming dilapidated buildings doesn't count).

Oh my god. Are we really that hideous?

At first glance, the Parkscore results are pretty brutal. Not only are parks missing from Miami, but the ones we have are pathetically small. In fact, the only serious park in Miami proper is Virginia Key.

But on closer inspection, Miami isn't quite the festering scab on the face of the Earth that it first appears to be.

The Parkscore rankings ignore the rest of Miami-Dade County, where parks tend to be more spacious and plentiful. Miami Beach and its many miles of oceanfront parks are not included, for example.

But the rankings still hit home. A map on the Parkscore website shows the areas of Miami in need of green space: Brickell is pure blacktop. Little Havana looks like it's post-nuclear holocaust.

The solution, at least, is straightforward. Instead of building $2 billion baseball parks, Miami needs to build some real parks. You know. The kind you can walk around without buying a ticket.

Parkscore_map.jpg
parkscore.tpl.org
Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.

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35 comments
frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

i don't know about the other places on the list but i can tell you NYC with Central Park alone is the best in the US and if the BRONX is included maybe the NY BOTANICAL GARDENs is the best in the world

Amelia Earhart Park in HIALEAH is a gem with quite an interesting history as is VISCAYA museum and gardens a contemporary illustration on what olde money could accomplish back before TOURISM and development

i don't know how the list was scored BUT if you look around MIAMI most of the area simply relects how poor it is with all the major resources dedicated towards the beach high-rises and tourist accomodations which generate revenue as the poor areas down here will always go begging for proper accomodations effecting quality of life

MIAMI shot it's load by sinking $562,ooo,ooo into a new baseball stadium that will NEVER be paid off until well into the future, IF EVER, so that's that for any PARK budget

CheckpointCharlie73
CheckpointCharlie73 topcommenter

Most of those parks will be condos and strip malls in the next twenty years. Miami is a GHETTO.

lonianderson1979
lonianderson1979 topcommenter

Even if the beaches were counted Miami would score pretty low. You have miles and miles coastline that isn't accessible to everyone. Then you have a little strip that we all have to cram into. On weekends you are lucky of you have 5 ft between you and the next sunbather. Not exactly "open space"

edson.mena
edson.mena

Most of the parks we do have aren't really parks at all.  They are nature conservation areas that are off-limits to human use therefore useless.  If you want more parks, convert the ones we do have into something useful.

edson.mena
edson.mena

Do the beaches count as parks?  Go to a local park and see how many people use them.  They don't.  These "polls" are worse than useless.  Here you have a poll that says Miami is really bad in ____.  The answer?  Build more _____.  We don't need more parks because they sit empty. 

edson.mena
edson.mena

Do the beaches count as parks?  Because if they did, we would be number 1!

Frank Daddario
Frank Daddario

THE REASON public parks are NOT a priority is they would ATTRACT HOBOs VAGRANTs and MISCREANTs year-round because of our mild weather AND THAT would cause the city to have to spend resources on SECURITY and maintenance - PRIVATIZE and charge a daily FEE so that security and maintenance can be provided for (AMELIA EAHART PARK in hialeah is both historic AND very nice) - have LINEAR PARKS along seawalls / boardwalks / canal swales and adjacent roads so that walkers and admirers cannot LOITER (and thus take root) AND these stretches also be monitored from the street so they feel safe (ie ST PETEs bayfront park from DALI museum to 400 Beach Place)

Ru Ru H
Ru Ru H

We have highrises along the beach where the parks should be. When I asked for 'shade', this wasnt what I meant.

yesss
yesss

Too bad half of Bicentennial Park is being paved over. They should have put the art and science museums somewhere else. 

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

public transportation in Miami?! don't get me started on that.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

Doral has cool parks, but that searing heat and humidity, being that close to the swamps and far from the coast?! You must be crazy, to venture that way! Add ticket-happy police, and that city is exclusively for its inhabitants.

Phil Ramirez
Phil Ramirez

some cities, namely Gables, the beach and Aventura have beautiful parks. is not a half empty-half full issue. Manny Diaz gave every piece of land to developers, in exchange of a "cut". Please...

Carla Cody
Carla Cody

@Valerie Hower what area do you live in, I'll bring my 4 year old, the days of my spending time at Morningside park are over or will be limited; I can't justify bringing him to a park that I loved; a place I learned to love sea monsters (manatee), and learned how to swim, and garnered an appreciation for nature in general; its awful how dirty that park is now, its no longer the natural haven we could walk to from Little Haiti/Liberty City.

Kyle Awon
Kyle Awon

because we wanna go to the park in miami.....

Blanca Rogers
Blanca Rogers

This is true...we need more nature and family parks!

Andrea Cavallo
Andrea Cavallo

I definitely think we need better transportation going east and west, like the tri rail system. I love parks too, theyre not just for kids Ignacio Abascal. People like having a place to go and unwind, in open spaces, to clear their minds. Walk their dogs, ride bikes, jog, whatever. The beaches are nice but parking can be a pain, and you cant really bring your dog to all the beaches. Parks have trees, for shade, and green spaces are fun for other activities.

Valerie Hower
Valerie Hower

I think it all depends where you live in Miami. Around me, there are many parks I can take my 3-year-old. Wonderful water views and nice playground equipment. I have no complaints.

Cirilo Casanova
Cirilo Casanova

What else do they want???, beside the Everglades and the beautifull beaches???

Ignacio Abascal
Ignacio Abascal

Why would you waste our money? All your idiot kids do is play fuckin video games anyway. Vplp.

Erik Swagerty
Erik Swagerty

Besides, there isn't a whole lot of open space left to build a park.

Erik Swagerty
Erik Swagerty

I agree with Andrew Creech. The public transportation system in Miami is abysmal.

James Bratek
James Bratek

well, you do have Biscayne Bay for boaters and snorkelers/divers ... but in terms of city/urban planning, Frederick Law Olmsted would have disapproved ...

Carla Cody
Carla Cody

and that aren't dirty. i grew up on morningside park, it pained me to be there memorial day with my son, watching him has he threw rocks and sticks in the bay, like I used to, except he had to be careful not to step on broken glass, paper, bottles, empty cartons, and debris. it was disgusting.

Bija Johnson
Bija Johnson

I have been screaming this for years! We need green space Miami!!

Andrew Creech
Andrew Creech

Fuck that. We need a real viable public trans option, and not buses, they don't help. Then maybe we can build some parks. How the heck are people supposed to get there if it takes 2 hours to go 2 miles downtown.

Hernan Valverde
Hernan Valverde

We have natural parks here! Have you not seen the beach! Let's not be so negative! The people in the number 1 city wished they lived here!

Steven Toth
Steven Toth

The Heat's Arena sits on top of a piece of property that was suppose to be a park for all to use since the early days of this city. The baseball team isn't the only guilty party.

cpchester
cpchester

@Hernan Valverde Yeah but think neighborhood parks, plazas, squares, places to gather, places to have a farmers market or watch an outdoor movie...the beach is a schlep for 90% of Miami-Dade county. 

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