Infographic: A Superb Guide To The World's Best Parks

These elegant charts by Mikell Fine Iles compare some of the world’s best-known outdoor spaces.

"This project started in part because of a simple question that I wanted to find the answer to: How does the size of Golden Gate Park compare to that of Central Park?" Mikell Fine Iles writes on his Tumblr. With that, Iles, a Brooklyn designer, created an abridged guide to urban parks around the globe, from Piedmont Park in Atlanta to the Tiergarten in Berlin.

Click to enlarge.

The infographic uses sleek 2-D silhouettes to visualize parks’ various shapes and sizes, and addresses not only Iles’s original question (answer: Golden Gate Park is waaaaay bigger), but also general facts and figures about some of the world’s most famous green spaces, such as their inception date and number of annual visitors (in this case, Central Park wins by a long shot).

The Parks of the World is by no means comprehensive. Heavy hitters like the Tuileries in Paris or Chicago’s Lincoln Park are noticeably absent. As Iles writes, it’s just a log of parks he himself has visited.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

That shouldn’t detract from its power. With the birth of the seventh billion person last year and three quarters of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, parks have never been more critical to the health (and sanity) of the urban masses. "One can spend hours roaming around the park and forget he or she is still in the city," Iles says. "This is a powerful thing, and not easily replicated. … Across the globe city planners and environmentalists have created spaces for the public to escape from the stresses of their daily lives." That’s a nice way of saying that public parks manage to keep city people from strangling each other’s necks. Iles’s infographic, then, is a love letter to these great green peacemakers.

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  • WW

    That's what I was wondering. The Englischer Garten is bigger than Central Park for sure, and has tons of visitors every year thanks to its location and what's inside.

  • ib

    And the Phoenix Park in Dublin, the largest enclosed recreational spaces within any European capital city. 1,752 acres, established 1662. 

    And FastCo, why do you always break up your infographics, please leave them as one complete image...please??

  • John Llewellyn

    Chart junk.  No representation of why these are the best parks. Thanks for the bait and switch!

  • Andrew Onraet

    A good beginning. 

    What about Hyde Park at 350 acres and combined with Kensingston Gardens at 270 acres gives an overal 630 acres. 

    The orginal gardens opened to the public in 1637.

    Therefore is comparable to Central Park in size and urban planning and to Rosenborg in date of conception and importance between Landowner and lay person usage. 

  • Nic Pudel

    Beautiful info-graphic and post but you forgot the amazing "Englischer Garten" in Munich, it's 910 acres and bigger then Central Park + created in 1789, so older then all the one you list apart from Rosenborg Castle Gardens.

    In any case, great post!


  • Dan O'Neill

    Great graphic. Very interesting. 

    Hope to see more parks added in future. Phoenix Park in Dublin is one of the greatest parks in the world. Hopefully on the list for future.