Parks & Open Space: A Demand & Supply Analysis of Existing Public and Private Open Space in Montgomery County, Maryland


Montgomery County Planning’s Energized Public Spaces Functional Master Plan (EPS FMP), which focused primarily on the Silver Spring Central Business District, inventoried the supply of existing parks and open spaces, estimated the demand for parks and open space based on the presence of population and jobs, and identified areas where service gaps exist. The Fall 2017 URSP688L PALS program took the same approach as the EPS FMP, but expanded the study to the whole County, establishing a Set 1 Data and Map. We then created an alternative framework analysis using additional variables to further expand the study’s scope to establish a Set 2 Data and Map. In this alternative framework analysis (Set 2), the park supply for Montgomery County was determined by assigning a score based on amenities in each park. A walkshed was created for each park and the acre grid of Montgomery County in which it is located using a walkshed network analysis that calculated a one mile walk distance from each grid. Park demand was determined by including the following variables: population density, housing density, age, zero car households, and access to private gardens/yards, based on whether a property was multi-family or not. By analyzing the data on public and semi-public parks and factors known to influence their demand, we developed a composite scoring system to identify current service gaps in park lands within Montgomery County, and compared the Set 1 and Set 2 Data. The Set 2 data indicated more significant service gaps in park supply and demand throughout the County, but both Set 1 and Set 2 data indicated a need for more parks in the County’s more rural north and west areas. We recommend undertaking further research using additional variables and advanced analysis tools as this project proceeds into Spring 2018. Part II:


Final project for URSP688L: Planning Technologies (Fall 2017). University of Maryland, College Park.