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The original item was published from 1/20/2020 9:09:00 AM to 12/2/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: February 13, 2019

[ARCHIVED] SF Residents: Parks Make City More Livable

People walking on a paved walkway flanked by foliage

SAN FRANCISCO –– Seventy eight percent of San Franciscans think the condition of the city’s parks are improving, a bright spot in poll results measuring the public’s satisfaction with city services and issues.

The 2019 Dignity Health CityBeat Poll, released Tuesday by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, revealed that residents’ satisfaction with the San Francisco Park and Recreation Department is not only high, but on the upswing. City dwellers who believe parks are improving jumped from 70 percent in 2018 to 78 percent in 2019, while those who believe parks are deteriorating fell from 11 percent in 2018 to 8 percent this year, the lowest dissatisfaction rate ever.

“Well maintained parks make cities more livable in countless ways, from improving mental and physical health to providing free family recreation to making neighborhoods safer,” said SF Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg.  “This poll validates the hard work of our talented staff, dedicated volunteers and committed community members. We’re proud to contribute to the quality of life of San Franciscans.”

Over the past year, Rec and Parks launched new activities for people of all ages, improved playgrounds, implemented traffic calming measures and made parks and programs more equitable and accessible. San Franciscans and visitors enjoyed free World Cup screenings, light displays at the Conservatory of Flowers, concerts and seasonal family events like Eggstravaganza, Scaregrove, and the annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Golden Gate Park. More than 60,000 people registered for recreational programs and classes, while 70 youth living in public housing attended summer camp for free.

“San Francisco’s parks are part of the special sauce that makes our city so unique, and voters recognize that. Whether you want to visit the bevy of playgrounds, stroll through the lush open space or just take in the stunning views, our parks enhance the quality of life for everyone who works and lives in San Francisco,” said Juliana Bunim, senior vice president of external affairs for the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

The CityBeat 2019 poll also showed that despite 52 percent of voters believing quality of life in the city is worse, 64 percent would rather live in San Francisco than anywhere else. Top quality of life issues identified by respondents were homelessness (64 percent), rent/affordability (41 percent) and cost of owning a home (30 percent).

The results echo a San Francisco Controller’s Office report released in November, which found San Francisco’s parks became more consistently well maintained across the city last year, with Rec and Parks meeting 89 percent of its park maintenance standards.

To see more CityBeat survey results, click here.

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