rec centers by the numbers
May 18, 2014, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Cities | Tags: ,

Displaying 20140512_165047.jpgHere is a NYC Parks and Recreation Centers sign boasting about the city’s facilities. I will never complain about NYC Rec facilities themselves – they are affordable and I love the pools at Chelsea, Metropolitan and 54th Street. However, this sign is laughable when you consider New York is a city of 8.4 million people. Let’s look at the numbers and break them down per capita.

35 Recreation Centers: that’s one center per 240,000 people.

12 Indoor Pools: one pool per 700,000 people.

21 Basketball Courts: one basketball court per 400,000 people.

1100 Cardio and Strength Machines: one machine per 7,636 people.

100+ Fitness Classes: 84,000 people in each fitness class.

Sounds crowded, no?

I think New York should improve these ratios, making sure to keep the price low. There are arguments for and against. It will cost too much, taxes will go up, private clubs are cleaner and better status indicators. It’s good for preventative health and will reduce health costs, it improves quality of life and will attract – ha ha – the creative class who will save us. There’s another argument, that recreation enhances human dignity and life and is an integral part of civic participation.


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