Which US Cities Have The Most Green Space? | Geotab

Published on July 9, 2019

Geotab examined map and census data to measure green space and other land uses across major U.S. cities

Toronto, Ontario - July 9, 2019 - Geotab, the world’s leading connected vehicle company for smart city and fleets, today released a new study analyzing infrastructure density in 15 major U.S. cities. The results depict the allocation of space that an individual resident would receive if a city was divided equally by its population. Highlighting which U.S. cities are deemed the most “liveable” based on their urban footprint, the full interactive report can be accessed here.


Analyzing OpenStreetMap data, Geotab established the total area of green space, roads and buildings in each city. These figures were then divided by the respective population of each location as reported by the latest U.S Census data to reveal the size of the allocated ‘plot’ per person. Geotab illustrated these plots to demonstrate the ratio of green space, roads and buildings to one individual. Additionally, the report ranks the cities based on the amount of green space, buildings and roads that are attributed to each person.

Green space

According to the results of Geotab’s Urban Footprint study, the U.S city with the most green space per person is Atlanta with 1,023 ft2 per person. Meanwhile, Dallas takes second place (870 ft2) followed by Portland (856 ft2).


Based on Geotab’s findings, Atlanta has seven times as much green space per person than the city with the least green space: New York City (146 ft2). This is closely followed by Miami (166 ft2) and Boston (168 ft2).


“Although Central Park is a popular spot for residents looking to step out of the hustle and bustle of NYC, it falls short in regards to providing residents with a substantial allocation of green space per person,” said Maria Sotra, VP of Marketing at Geotab.


Of the cities included in the research, Washington D.C. was found to be the only city that had a larger plot of green space per person (592 ft2) than roads (495 ft2) or buildings (542 ft2).


The five most livable cities (according to the largest allocation of green space per person):

Atlanta, GA (1,203 sq ft)

Dallas, TX (870 sq ft)

Portland, OR (856 sq ft)

Washington, DC (592 sq ft)

Milwaukee, WI (426 sq ft)


New Orleans was found to be the city with the largest area of roads per person (1,453 ft2), followed by Dallas (1,191 ft2) and Atlanta (1,151 ft2). New York City was found to have the smallest area of roads per person (247 ft2), with San Francisco taking second place (326 ft2) followed by Boston (370 ft2).


New Orleans takes first place again, with the largest plot of buildings per person (1,412 ft2), followed by Dallas (1,367 ft2) and Denver (1,229 ft2). New York City has the smallest plot of buildings per person (311 ft2), followed by Boston (440 ft2) and San Francisco (474 ft2).


“Anyone that has travelled to more than one city in the United States. will know that there are some locations that feel more crowded than others,” added Sotra. “But this research just goes to show how stark that comparison is in reality.”



Using OpenStreetMap data, Geotab compiled maps of 15 major American cities showing only buildings, roads, and green urban spaces such as parks. Road widths were calculated using OpenStreetMap data where available, supplemented with city infrastructure manuals and aerial imagery. These maps were then used to measure total areas and divided by population (latest U.S. Census estimates) for the per-person figures. City boundaries are from U.S. Census TIGER/Line, other map shapes © OpenStreetMap contributors. Research was conducted in April 2019.

Media Contact

Hanna Corrente

Manager, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs


About Geotab

Geotab is a global leader in connected transportation solutions. We provide telematics — vehicle and asset tracking — solutions to over 47,000 customers in 150 countries. For more than 20 years, we have invested in ground-breaking data research and innovation to enable partners and customers, including Fortune 500 and public sector organizations, to transform their fleets and operations. We connect to over 3.8 million vehicles and process more than 55 billion data points a day so that customers can make better decisions, increase productivity, have safer fleets, and achieve their sustainability goals. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offers hundreds of third-party solution options. Backed by a team of industry leading data scientists and AI experts, Geotab is unlocking the power of data to understand real-time and predictive analytics — solving for today’s challenges and tomorrow’s world. To learn more, visit www.geotab.com, follow @GEOTAB on Twitter and LinkedIn or visit the Geotab Blog.