“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.
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.
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.