It's August, and if you're a city dweller, it's great to be able to hang out on a summer's day in a nearby park. But just how nearby depends on what city you live in. In June, the Trust for Public Land issued its ParkScore, a rating of park systems in America's 50 biggest cities. Minneapolis came out on top, based on three criteria: the percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park (94 percent); the median size of its parks (6.5 acres), and the level of municipal investment. New York came in second, with even more people close to a park (96 percent) but with a smaller median size (only 1.06 acres).
Parks, not surprisingly, make people happy. A long-term study of 12,000 Britons by researchers at the University of Exeter found that those who lived in areas with green space expressed more satisfaction and were less distressed than those who didn't.