City living certainly has its perks. From walking down the street for a bite at any number of stellar restaurants to excellent public transit options, and museums and cultural attractions galore, cities most certainly have it going on. The one thing cities may lack? Green space. If getting a little taste of Mother Nature matters to you, Uswitch, a green energy company, has some data you need to see.
In April, the company released a study analyzing which cities have the most picturesque green spaces. The researchers at Uswitch used the WorldPopulationReview to source a long list of the world’s 100 most-populated cities. They then ran each one through Tripadvisor, selecting the ‘Top Rated Parks’ to discover the top-rated in each city.
Next, they ran the name of each park through Instagram to see which parks were the most shared on social media. (In the case of parks that have multiple names, the company ran both names through Instagram and totaled the figures to give a more accurate representation.)
The parks were then ranked according to the number of hashtags, with the winner being crowned the most beautiful city park. To help you appreciate these places even more, the company also calculated the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by each park, taking into account its acreage multiplied by the estimated amount of CO2 that the soil can absorb.
So, which one came out on top? That spot goes to New York’s Central Park, which came in with more than 7.9 million hashtag mentions.
“Famously in the background of many TV shows and films, like Gossip Girl, Home Alone, and ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ to name a few, this vast city-based park occupies a huge 843 acres of New York City, and it plays a massive part in cleaning up the air of the bustling New Yorker lifestyle, thanks to the 18,000 trees that live there,” the company shared in a statement provided to Travel Leisure. “It’s estimated by the Conservancy Tree Care team (the people nursing the trees in Central Park) that roughly one million pounds of carbon dioxide are removed from the city’s air each year thanks to the trees.”
London’s Hyde Park came in second on the list with 2,363,707 hashtags on Instagram. It’s also the only UK-based green space to make it to the top 20 list. According to Treeconomics and The Royal Parks, it’s also an important part of the environment in London, thanks to its 4,000 trees that remove a total of 2.7 tons of pollutants each year and store an impressive 3,900 tons of CO2, preventing it from being released into the London air.
The rest of the top 10 include Hangang Park (한강공원) in Seoul, South Korea, Griffith Park in Los Angeles, and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Steve Proehl/Getty Images
To see if your city’s park made the list and just how important each one is to our shared climate, click here.