Out of 4763.78 acres of city parks, excluding golf courses and cemeteries, 3256.89 of those acres are being regularly mowed by the city or have been adopted by a community organization, church, corporation, etc. What do you do with 1506.89 acres of unmaintained city-owned greenspace? Obviously, maintaining vacant land and keeping track is difficult, but there must be a better system to keep check on these kinds of community assets.
Unfortunately, the adopted parks list, the scorecards, and the mowing schedules lists had many discrepancies in park names, spelling, etc. These various issues must have come from disparate databases. Alfonso is changed to Alonzo, Ramsey is changed to Ramsay, Dr. AW Diack Playground is listed as simply “Diak,” Max Sawyer is referred to as Sawyer Playground – I’m not sure how the city can keep it all straight. I couldn’t tell you how many double name parks were just reversed (i.e. Beland-Manning –> Manning-Beland) or hyphen versus ampersand versus “and” versus a slash. You would think that there would be a single database used within the same department. The parks are a good test case for updating and improving city databases and tracking systems. There should be a single, solid database of information on parks, adoption, and tracking.
[Detroit Park Locations – Polygons] “Location of Detroit Park Areas in polygon format (shows boundaries) including size, condition and use of park.” – Detroit Data Collaborative (D3), 02/24/11
[Parks Landmarks] “Municipal Parks and Landmark features for the City of Detroit. Includes golf courses, City Airport and civic plazas. Does not include all school parks, unless they are maintained by Detroit Parks and Rec. This layer was developed by Data Driven Detroit by adding to a GIS file that was provided by the City in 2010. Some parks in the file may have been “abandoned” and are not maintained any longer.” – D3 Open Data, 02/11/14
Even these two openly available GIS files were full of errors with naming and did not match. Not to mention the polygons were different shape and quality.
- Adopted parks list (City of Detroit)
- Partner scorecards (City of Detroit)
- Mowing cycles (City of Detroit)
- Detroit Park Locations – Polygons (Detroit Data Collaborative, D3)
- Parks Landmarks (D3 Open Data Site)
Highlighting: Yellow (city mowing + adopted), Red (naming discrepancy or missing from city lists)