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Urban parks are profoundly valuable for the health and well-being of people of all ages, the community as a whole, the environment and its inhabitants, and even the economy. At Playground Equipment, we love to showcase opportunities for play, conservation, and community health, so we have created this visual guide to the largest urban parks in the world! 

What Is an Urban Park?

An urban park, or a city park, is a park that is contained entirely within a locality’s municipal or metropolitan boundary. 

What Is the Purpose of Urban Parks?

There are plenty of reasons why city parks matter! City parks offer access to recreational opportunities, boost property values, help to reduce crime, spark the economy, protect the natural environment, purify and cool the air, and much more. 

We will explore more of the benefits of city parks below, but for now, here are the biggest city parks in the world:


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The 25 Largest Urban Parks in the World - - Infographic

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What Is the Largest Urban Park in the World?

The largest park in the world contained within a metropolitan area and the largest urban park in the U.S. is Chugach State Park in Anchorage, Alaska. It is the largest city park in America by far, spanning 495,199.2 acres. 

What Is Chugach State Park Known For?

Chugach State Park is considered one the most breathtaking and accessible natural areas in the United States. Chugach State Park offers more than 280 miles of trails for hiking and biking, with more than a dozen trailheads scattered across all of Anchorage. There are also 110 miles of skiing, snowmobiling, and fat-tire biking opportunities when there is sufficient snowfall. With 28 miles of paddling to be had in Eagle River Valley plus boating opportunities on the eight-mile Eklutna Lake, Chugach State Park is an outdoorsy adventurer’s paradise! 

Here are the top 20 largest city parks in the world ranked by size in acres:

  1. Chugach State Park — 495,199.2 acres (Anchorage, Alaska)
  2. Gatineau Park — 89,205 acres (Gatineau, Canada)
  3. Table Mountain National Park — 54,610.3 acres (Cape Town, South Africa)
  4. Margalla Hills National Park — 42,961.7 acres (Islamabad, Pakistan)
  5. Pedra Branca State Park — 30,626.2 acres (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 
  6. McDowell Sonoran Preserve — 30,394 acres (Scottsdale, Arizona)
  7. Losiny Ostrov National Park — 28,664.2 acres (Moscow, Russia)
  8. Franklin Mountains State Park — 24,246 acres (El Paso, Texas)
  9. Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge — 22,758.4 acres (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  10. Bukhansan National Park — 19,748.7 acres (Seoul, South Korea)
  11. South Mountain Park — 16,281.8 acres (Phoenix, Arizona)
  12. Changa Manga — 12,515 acres (Lahore, Pakistan)
  13. Rouge National Urban Park — 12,356 acres (Toronto, Canada)
  14. Government Canyon State Natural Area — 12,244 acres (San Antonio, Texas)
  15. Appian Way Regional Park — 11,317.4 acres (Rome, Italy)
  16. Lee Valley Regional Park — 10,000 acres (London, United Kingdom)
  17. Phoenix Sonoran Preserve — 9,612.4 acres (Phoenix, Arizona)
  18. Cullen Park — 9,270 acres (Houston, Texas)
  19. Timucuan Preserve — 7,870 acres (Jacksonville, Florida)
  20. George Bush Park — 7,800 acres (Houston, Texas) 

Why Are Parks Important? 

It’s no secret that we are passionate about playtime and parks — we take every opportunity we can to highlight the importadnce of outdoor parks for children, grown-ups, pets, and the community as a whole. So why are parks important to a city? The health benefits of parks are abundant, enriching every aspect of physical, emotional, mental, and cognitive well-being and growth. Outdoor play is especially good for making confident, creative kids! The benefits of urban parks go far beyond just health. City parks are also important for the environment, helping to clean the air, filter rain, reduce water pollution, protect drinking water, and preserve local flora and fauna. Urban parks also boost the economy by attracting tourists and making a city more appealing for businesses and professionals to relocate to. Property values are also higher near parks. 

Here are some insights and resources on why city parks are important:

  • “A study by Penn State University showed significant correlations to reductions in stress, lowered blood pressure, and perceived physical health to the length of stay in visits to parks.” — Why Parks and Recreation Are Essential Public Services (National Recreation and Park Association) 
  • “Parks and protected public lands are proven to improve water quality, protect groundwater, prevent flooding, improve the quality of the air we breathe, provide vegetative buffers to development, produce habitat for wildlife, and provide a place for children and families to connect with nature and recreate outdoors together.” — Importance of Parks and Recreation (Eastern Kentucky University Recreation and Park Administration) 
  • “Trees in urban parks remove up to 7,111,000 tons of toxins from the air annually at a value of $3.8 billion to cities.” — Benefits of Urban Parks (City Parks Alliance) 
  • “Parks and trails that are well-designed offer many benefits. They provide a place where people can be physically active to reduce stress, which can improve their mental health. They also provide a place where neighbors can meet, which improves community connections.” — Parks, Recreation, and Green Spaces (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 
  • “City parks and open space improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work. Numerous studies have shown the social, environmental, economic, and health benefits parks bring to a city and its people.” — The Benefits of Parks: Why America Needs More City Parks and Open Space (WeConservePA)
  • “City parks engage children in informal, experiential learning through play and shared experiences with peers, laying the foundation for effective formal education.” — How Cities Use Parks to Help Children Learn (American Planning Association) 
  • “For every 1% increase in total green space, there is a 1.2% (0.7 to 1.7%; 95% confidence interval) decrease in violent crime and 1.3% (0.8 to 1.8%) decrease in property crime.” — Is Green Space Associated With Reduced Crime? A National-Scale Study Ffrom the Global South (Science of the Total Environment) 

The 25 Largest Urban Parks in the World 

Park + Location

Size (in Acres)

Chugach State Park


Anchorage, Alaska 


Gatineau Park


Gatineau, Canada 


Table Mountain National Park


Cape Town, South Africa


Margalla Hills National Park


Islamabad, Pakistan


Pedra Branca State Park


Rio de Janeiro 


McDowell Sonoran Preserve


Scottsdale, Arizona


Losiny Ostrov National Park


Moscow, Russia


Franklin Mountains State Park


El Paso, Texas


Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge


New Orleans, Louisiana


Bukhansan National Park


Seoul, South Korea


South Mountain Park


Phoenix, Arizona


Changa Manga 


Lahore, Pakistan


Rouge National Urban Park


Toronto, Canada 


Government Canyon State Natural Area


San Antonio, Texas


Appian Way Regional Park


Rome, Italy


Lee Valley Regional Park


London, United Kingdom


Phoenix Sonoran Preserve


Phoenix, Arizona


Cullen Park


Houston, Texas 


Timucuan Preserve


Jacksonville, Florida


George Bush Park


Houston, Texas


Newport News Park


Newport News, Virginia 


Mission Trails Regional Park


San Diego, California 


Verkiai Regional Park


Vilnius, Lithuania


Jefferson Memorial Forest


Louisville, Kentucky


William B. Umstead State Park


Raleigh, North Carolina 


Related: Outdoor park furniture, shade structures for parks, and playground sets

Learn about the author: Ben Thompson