Dayton has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Founded in 1796, the southwestern Ohio city emerged as a manufacturing and aviation capital before changing industrial demands and rising competition from Asia in the 1970s led to decades of decline. On August 4, a tragic mass shooting that left 10 dead and 27 injured thrust Dayton into the news.
But in recent years, the city of around 800,000 has seen a surprising—and popular—revitalization of its urban green spaces, which welcomed some 3.3 million visitors in 2018. On a per-capita basis, this makes Dayton’s parks more popular than New York’s Central Park, the United States’ most-visited.
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Story excerpt provided by National Geographic.
Written by Stephen Starr.