Open Space Attribute


In this study open space is defined as non-forested patches of public or private land greater than one and a half acres in size; this size represents a minimum area that could produce significant environmental benefits. Using high-resolution aerial photos of Madison, open space patches were identified visually and digitized manually. The digitized layer was then matched with a land ownership data set provided by the City to determine whether the digitized open space is public or private. From the total area of public open space, we calculated for each district acres of public open space per 1,000 residents.

The availability of public open space is an important characteristic of cities that contributes to their aesthetic appeal and provides recreational opportunities for residents (Green Space). Accommodating greater areas for open space produces additional benefits including stormwater infiltration (Stormwater) and the mitigation of climate change (Climate Change). The performance standard for open space was adopted from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) as described in Park, Recreation, Open Space and Greenway Guidelines by James D. Mertes and James R. Hall (1995).

Performance Standard

Ten acres of public open space per 1,000 residents.