Analysis reveals U.S. cities with the most (and least) green space

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)

Roads

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).

Buildings

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.”

Methodology

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.


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Media Contact

Kelly Hall

Geotab Inc.

Communications Manager

kellyhall@geotab.com

About Geotab

Geotab is advancing security, connecting commercial vehicles to the internet and providing web-based analytics to help customers better manage their fleets. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offering hundreds of third-party solution options, allows both small and large businesses to automate operations by integrating vehicle data with their other data assets. As an IoT hub, the in-vehicle device provides additional functionality through IOX Add-Ons. Processing billions of data points a day, Geotab leverages data analytics and machine learning to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets through the reduction of fuel consumption, enhance driver safety, and achieve strong compliance to regulatory changes. Geotab’s products are represented and sold worldwide through Authorized Geotab Resellers. To learn more, please visitwww.geotab.comand follow us @GEOTAB and onLinkedIn.