jjguy05 saidThis ranking is extremely stupid if you guys click on the link and look at it more closely.
...They also include amount of park space in proportion to city's population size. What they leave out is the ease with which residents can reach a park (distance + transportation options...can I walk to my local park?). This shortsighted approach partly explains why Tampa does so well and Jersey City does so poorly in the ranking when it should be the other way around if you ask me.
Most such published lists prey on the "anyone from Chicago in the audience" factor. I like both Jersey City and Tampa so I'm not partial. I even did a junior high social studies paper on Jersey City and growing up for a while the ol'man kept a boat at a marina there. So just to note that I'm familiar with that and even more familiar with Tampa.
To look at parkland itself, and as you indicate access to it, Tampa & the surrounding Tampa Bay region affords unusually excellent access to large expanses of nature, better even than south Florida which itself is pretty excellent.
To your point of being able to walk to any park, Jersey City might (I'd have to study that) more so claim that as an aspect of living in a densely urbanized area as opposed to a more sprawled urban area. But just what are you walking to, a total of a few square miles of man-made park? There is simply no comparison. Not just of size but of character.
Tampa has five times the land mass while Jersey City has 25% less people: it would be silly to even attempt comparing acreage of parkland immediately available to the public.
Besides neighborhood parks, swimming pools, etc., the public parks along the causeways, a winding river through it with parks along that, access to the bays and the gulf, and now building a riverwalk downtown--immediately adjacent to Tampa is a 16,000-acre wilderness that pretty much blows anything else away with hiking, biking(both paved and off road) etc. and that's this...
Where it says "New Tampa" on that map is actually incorporated Tampa. So you can see that the access to wilderness is immediate--very few cities have such resource--even if just a short drive or a quick bike ride to where any particular individual might live by the sprawling developmental pattern of Florida. I was not at all surprised to see them high on the list.
And it's not even access to it, which is very easy in Tampa, but what you get when you get there. A Jersey City urban oasis is nice but Tampa has not just urban living but adjacency to wilderness, water to one side and woods to the other. There's wild turkey and boar and gators and coyote, turtles, all sorts of stuff. You can hardly go out into the bays around Tampa and the Bay region without a dolphin sighting. Such encounters don't exist in Jersey City.
PS. Tampa also has this odd but cool claim to recreational fame...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayshore_Boulevard
Bayshore Boulevard is a waterfront road on Hillsborough Bay in South Tampa, Florida. Located south of downtown Tampa, its sidewalk, claimed to be the longest continuous sidewalk in the world at 4.5 miles (7.2 km) long, is 10 feet (3.0 m) wide and is widely used for recreation and exercise. The 3-mile (4.8 km) bike lane, a linear park, and the Bayshore Greenway Trail provide scenic views of urban Tampa and the water. Many large and historic homes line the road, as well as business including the Colonnade (restaurant), a historic seafood restaurant established in 1935. The Gasparilla Children's parade is held on a section of the road.