A new study out of University of Minnesota has revealed that the best places to live, eat and do business are among the top 10 in the United States.
The research, which surveyed more than 1,200 U.S. cities in 2016, found that cities with outdoor spaces that are more than 10 square meters have the highest per capita income.
These include Seattle, Denver, Portland, Dallas, Portland and San Diego.
“Our study found that there are two distinct regions of the country that are really having an impact on the way the nation lives,” said lead author Jennifer Dziedzic, a doctoral candidate in U of M’s department of psychology and an assistant professor of sociology.
“The outdoor space is becoming more prevalent and accessible, and it’s also becoming a lot more expensive.”
Dziesic and her colleagues surveyed the living, working, dining, shopping, entertainment, transportation and other activities in more than 6,300 U. S. cities and found that, while outdoor spaces remain the top form of social interaction in most cities, it is not the top choice for the vast majority of people.
They found that about 30 percent of respondents said that outdoor spaces were the most important place to live.
This means that of those cities with at least 10 square metres of outdoor space, almost three-quarters of people said they would like to live in an outdoor space.
“These are really very common,” Dzysi said.
“There are certainly many more people who have outdoor spaces than there are who don’t.”
While the study does not reveal the number of people who live in each of these places, the study did find that those living in cities with higher per capita outdoor spaces are more likely to be male, live in households with multiple people and have a higher median household income.
The authors also found that while most cities have outdoor space on sidewalks, only seven percent of people say they go to parks to exercise.
The study also found many cities with more outdoor spaces have more people living in them, which is important for those living downtown, where there are more people and more people of color.
Dzios said that this may have to do with the need for people to move around, which can be expensive and time consuming.
“It may be a little more expensive, especially for the elderly and the people who can’t do it all,” she said.
The researchers say there is a need to understand the impact of these outdoor spaces on people in order to help cities design and fund better solutions.
“What we need to do is understand where these people live, what their needs are, and what their expectations are,” Dziiesi said, “and figure out how we can improve their access to those spaces.”