Access to Parks

A park with many trees, a metal gateway with a sign reading "Hazel Park: Dedicated to Hazel Iungerich, Champaign Park District," and a colorful playground beyond the gateway.What is the indicator?

The Access to Parks indicator measures the number of residential parcels in Champaign-Urbana that is within one half mile and within one quarter mile of a public park or other public open space. The half mile and quarter mile are used here as representations of reasonable walking distance to an amenity.

Public parks, public golf courses, and forest preserves were counted toward this indicator. Private recreational facilities (e.g., private golf courses, country clubs) and public/private recreational facilities were not counted toward this indicator.

The access analysis was performed using linear distance, rather than distance along a street network, so access in some areas may be limited by characteristics of the street network (e.g., form, lack or condition of sidewalks) or major barriers (e.g., highways and other wide roads that are difficult or dangerous to cross).


What does the data say? Are there any notable trends?

Access to Parks

 Number of Residential ParcelsArea Percent of All CU Residential Parcels
Square FeetAcres
All CU Residential Parcels28,271350957787.648056.88100.0%
CU Residential Parcels within 1/2-Mile Buffer27,563324449953.527448.3597.5%
CU Residential Parcels within 1/4-Mile Buffer21,300241826467.605551.5775.3%


Taking into account the limitations of our methodology, as of the analysis performed in June 2017, Champaign-Urbana residents as a whole have very good access to parks and open space: 97.5% of the Champaign-Urbana residential area was within one half mile of a park or open space, and 75.3% was within one quarter mile.


Why is this important?/Why did we include it in our set of indicators?

Parks and open space are valuable amenities that have recreational, environmental, and public health benefits. The ability of residents to visit parks and access these benefits without a car is a measure of both equity and quality of life.


Where did we get the data, and how often is it released?

The percentage analysis was performed in ArcGIS using map layers from the Champaign County GIS Consortium (CCGISC) and Champaign Urbana Urbanized Area Transportation Study  (CUUATS). The analysis will be done on an annual basis, to account for any changes in both parks and residential areas.