"Inside City Parks," written by environmental author PeterHarnik and jointly sponsored by the Urban Land Institute and theTrust for Public Land, gives Portland top marks for park and openspace acreage. Thanks in large part to the 5,000-acre Forest Park,Portland's 12,591 acres of parks and open space translate to 26.2acres for every 1,000 residents, more than double Seattle's totaland fourth-highest among the 25 cities in Harnik's study.

Then again, the report – which claims to be the first study tocompare park systems in the nation's 25 largest cities - ranksPortland below average for park recreation centers and average forparks innovation.

Harnik says Portland inspired cities nationwide when it decidereplaced a six-lane roadway with Tom McCall Waterfront Park morethan two decades ago, and again in 1984 when the city decided tobuild Pioneer Courthouse Square in its downtown instead of anotherparking garage.

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