Ryan Cooper | @maptastik

Sr. Systems Analyst/Programmer

City of Raleigh | Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources

Analyzing Network Service Areas to Improve Park Access

Slides: bit.ly/ncaug2017

Presentation Structure

  • Experience-Based Park Access Model
  • Neighborhood & Community Connections
  • Challenges and opportunities

How well does Raleigh's park system serve its population?

Measuring Level of Service

The conventional way

\sum Population / \sum Acres of Parks
Population/AcresofParks\sum Population / \sum Acres of Parks

1 mi

2 mi

3 mi...

Euclidean Park Service Areas

Network Park Service Areas

Experience-Based Park Access Model

Bringing people to parks


parks to people.



Level of Service should consider:

  • Experience
    • Does the location provide a core experience?
      • Opportunities for socializing
      • Playground
      • Open play
      • Walking or riding a bike
  • Access
    • How far are citizens from core experiences and how can they access them?
    • Network access
  • Local variations in access to park experiences

Modeling the Park System

Core Experience

Park Access Points

Raleigh Population

Census Blocks

Route Access

Transportation Network

Level of Service Metrics


1.29 mile network service area

By Census Block:

  • Distance to closest park
  • Accessible parks per person
  • Accessible park acres per person

Level of Service Tools

Network Distance to Parks Tool

Census Block Centroids

Transit Network

Park Access Points

Routes to Nearest Park

Routes to parks within 1.29 mi

Step 1: Generate Routes from Census Blocks to Parks

  Closest Routes

  1.29 Mile Routes

Level of Service Calculator

Census Block


Routes to Nearest Park

Routes to parks within 1.29 mi

Step 2: Calculate Metrics, Score LOS

Census Blocks w/ LOS Scores

Distance to Closest Park

Accessible Parks per Person

Accessible Acreage per Person



Level of Service

Land Acquisition Scenario

Neighborhood & Community Connections


How well does Raleigh's park system serve its population?

How well does Raleigh's park system serve its population?

How can Raleigh's park system serve its population better?


Increase LOS by improving bike and pedestrian accessibility

 Evaluation Criteria


Pedestrian Safety

Blocks for Analysis Tool

Census Block Centroids


Census Block Centroids - Park 1

Step 1: Get Census Block Centroids within 1.29 mi of each park

Census Block Centroids - Park 2

Census Block Centroids - Park 3

Census Block Centroids - Park #

Distance to Park Tool

Census Block Centroid

Transit + Greenway Network

Park Access Points

Closest routes to park

Step 2: Create closest route from each Census Block within 1.29 mi of each park

Prioritization Analysis Tool

Closest routes w/ circuitry scores & ped safety scores

Wake County Vulnerability Data

Parks w/ ranks for circuitry, ped safety, and vulnerability

Step 3: Calculate Criteria and Score Parks


  • Population: 748
  • Safety Score: 10th worst
  • Population: 3935
  • Safety Score: 62nd worst
  • Population: 5287
  • Circuitry: 4th worst
  • Population: 10,059
  • Circuitry: 20th worst

Looking forward

  • Key driver for park development, land acquisition & capital improvement projects
  • Scoring: Rank -> 0-based scores
  • Make the model accessible
    • Thorough, searchable documentation
    • GUI for running model (ex. Dash)
    • Work with Basic license, no extension licenses
      • Network: PostGIS + pgRouting
      • Data Manipulation: Pandas/GeoPandas
    • Open Source

NCAUG 2017

By maptastik

NCAUG 2017

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