Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Local News

Irving Ranked 4th Worst City for Recreation in New 2023 WalletHub Study

In celebration of National Parks and Recreation Month, personal-finance website WalletHub has released its comprehensive report on the Best & Worst Cities for Recreation in 2023. The study aims to highlight the importance of recreational activities for individuals and their impact on the economy. By analyzing 48 key indicators of recreation-friendliness, WalletHub compared the 100 largest cities in the United States. The report considered factors such as accessibility to entertainment and recreational facilities, park quality, and local weather conditions.

The findings emphasize that staying active not only benefits one's health but also has a positive impact on personal finances. Regular exercise and recreational activities can save individuals up to $1,500 in healthcare costs annually. Choosing a city that encourages and facilitates recreation is an excellent way to maintain an active lifestyle. The top cities on the list offer a diverse range of indoor and outdoor leisure activities, promoting overall well-being and contributing to their local economies.

Among the various recreational options, neighborhood parks were identified as particularly valuable. Research has shown that having a park within close proximity of residential properties—within 500 to 600 feet—can significantly increase their value. Additionally, parks play a crucial role in helping people stay fit, resulting in potential healthcare cost savings of up to $1,500 per person per year. Furthermore, parks also contribute to a reduction in air pollution costs, saving an estimated $3.8 billion annually.

While favorable weather conditions are often associated with outdoor recreation, it is equally important for cities to offer indoor recreational opportunities. Movie theaters, music venues, and coffee shops are among the facilities that enhance a city's recreation-friendliness, ensuring that residents have options regardless of the weather.

WalletHub's report also revealed the rankings of various cities across the United States. In Texas, El Paso secured the 15th position, followed by Plano at 29th, Austin at 34th, Fort Worth at 44th, and Houston at 55th. Arlington claimed the 57th spot, while Lubbock ranked 60th. Dallas placed 66th, Laredo 72nd, Corpus Christi 84th, Garland 89th, and Irving ended up as the fourth-worst city among the top 100 cities in the country, ranking at 97th.

As Americans recognize National Parks and Recreation Month this July, WalletHub's comprehensive study serves as a valuable resource for individuals seeking to reside in cities that prioritize recreation and provide a wide array of recreational opportunities. By choosing cities that value and promote a healthy and active lifestyle, individuals can both improve their well-being and make substantial savings in healthcare costs.

Recreation in Irving (1=Best; 50=Avg.):

  • 73rd – Spending on Parks and Recreation per Capita
  • 77th – Parkland as % of City Area
  • 73rd – % of Population with Walkable Park Access
  • 89th – Music Venues per Capita
  • 97th – Tennis Courts per Capita
  • 66th – Park Playgrounds per Capita
  • 52nd – Swimming Pools per Capita

What are some cost-effective ways for local authorities to improve parks and recreation facilities?

“There are many ways local authorities can improve park and recreation facilities in cost-effective ways. First, seeking grants offered by government agencies, foundations, and corporations is essential in focusing on renovations, infrastructure projects, and improvements. Additionally, community fundraising, crowdfunding, donations, and partnerships with nonprofits and businesses can leverage expertise and resources. Volunteer programs and adopt-a-park programs engage community members to contribute their time and skills to maintain and improve parks. To reduce costs and address climate change, focusing on native plant landscaping, energy-efficient infrastructure, bike/pedestrian-friendly means of travel, and multi-use facilities can greatly reduce the bottom line.”
Melissa Weddell, Ph.D., MBA – Director & Research Faculty, Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research, University of Montana

What is the biggest mistake local authorities make in building and maintaining parks and recreation facilities?

“One of the biggest mistakes local authorities can make in building and maintaining parks and recreation facilities is a lack of community engagement and input. Failing to involve the community in the planning, design, and decision-making processes can lead to facilities that do not meet the needs and preferences of the people they are intended to serve. This can result in underutilized parks, low community satisfaction, and wasted resources.”
Melissa Weddell, Ph.D., MBA – Director & Research Faculty, Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research, University of Montana


You May Also Like