Maximize Your Summer Fun with Data

RentHop 2019 SummerScore Index

When we think of summertime, memories come to mind of walks through the park, dinner with friends on the patio of our favorite restaurants, riding bikes, and unfortunately, going to work also comes to mind. At RentHop, we embrace the summer (and all the strange smells that comes with it thanks to the warm weather if you live in New York City) and we always look to find the neighborhoods with the most summer fun.

In order to figure out which neighborhoods will maximize your summer fun, we’ve updated our previous SummerScore study by taking a dive into the oceans of data on all things summer. The SummerScore is a wide-ranging index of the things that make a summer day awesome, and not-so-awesome. Don’t like stepping in dog poop? Neither do we, so we accounted for that. Neighborhoods with high poop complaints per square mile received a Poop Penalty to their SummerScore.

This year, we kept the data the same for the SummerScore index but with a few additions. This year, BBQ areas and rooftops play a factor on the neighborhood’s SummerScore. Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good BBQ or rooftop during the summer?

Read on and check out the map below to see if your neighborhood is the hottest neighborhood in terms of summer fun this summer.


The Interactive SummerScore Map


Which Neighborhood Was Number 1?

Only one neighborhood received the coveted 100 SummerScore: West Village. This Manhattan neighborhood had the best-overall amounts of everything good. West Village has 30 Citi Bike stations per square mile, for those interested in riding around the neighborhood with a bike this summer and 4.3 trees per 1000 square mile. Not surprisingly, West Village has the highest concentration of outdoor dining spots, with 153 cafes per square mile and 7 rooftop bars per square mile. Sadly, for those who enjoy outdoor BBQ, the West Village will not be your top 1 neighborhood, and unfortunately, there is some dog poop as well, but hey, you can’t have it all…!


Top 10 Neighborhoods For Summer Fun

Neighborhood Borough SummerScore
1 West Village Manhattan 100
2 SoHo-TriBeCa-Civic Center-Little Italy Manhattan 91
3 Brooklyn Heights-Cobble Hill Brooklyn 91
4 Fort Greene Brooklyn 84
5 Gramercy Manhattan 83
6 Chinatown Manhattan 81
7 Morningside Heights Manhattan 80
8 North Side-South Side Brooklyn 80
9 Upper East Side-Carnegie Hill Manhattan 80
10 Park Slope-Gowanus Brooklyn 79

Above you see the top 10 list of the neighborhoods with the highest SummerScore, based on the factors included in the SummerScore Index. The top 10 neighborhoods were either located in Brooklyn or Manhattan, with a total of six neighborhoods being in Manhattan. The SummerScores of the top ten neighborhoods ranged from being in the high 70s to the West Village taking first place with a SummerScore of 100. Use the map and the generated bar charts to see breakdowns for each neighborhood’s score.


How Did We Do It?

Pulling this together was no small feat, with multiple data sources and years of data to sift through, we set out to ensure that the SummerScore covered aspects relevant to as many New Yorkers as possible. Most of the data came from open data sources, so anyone can access and have a look for themselves. The foundation upon which everything was built was the Neighborhood Tabulation Areas as defined by NYC, used for zoning and planning. In many cases, colloquial neighborhoods are combined into one area, but using these areas allows us to utilize official demographic information to normalize the data based on size, making for a fair comparison.

We used these data sources for the SummerScore Index:

In order to calculate the SummerScore, we counted the number of occurrences of many of the above factors there are/were in each neighborhood using a GIS spatial reference function. These counts were then normalized based on the size of the neighborhood. For park coverage percentage, we compared the sizes of all the parks, squares, playgrounds, and Greenstreets throughout the city to the sizes of the neighborhoods they were located in. Neighborhoods like Upper East Side, Park Slope, and Brighton Beach were given bumps to their score for bordering Central Park, Prospect Park and having a beachfront. Many neighborhoods have lower amounts of parks in them since they’re so close to other large parks and so we accounted for that. Lastly, to create the Poop Penalty, we looked at 311 data from 2016 to 2018 on canine waste complaints. We then calculated the average number of complaints per year and normalized the data based on the size of the neighborhood.


Other Findings

Not everyone might think that the beach is the definition of summer fun. Some people might relate other things to summer more than the beach, for example, rooftops or going for a BBQ. While calculating the SummerScore, we came across some other interesting findings. We took a look at the neighborhoods with the most poop complaints per square mile, the neighborhoods with the most rooftops per square mile, the neighborhoods with the most cafes per square mile, and the neighborhoods with the most BBQ areas per square mile.


Which neighborhoods had the most poop complaints over the years?
Neighborhood Borough Poops/Square Mile
1 Soundview-Bruckner Bronx 77.15
2 Bronxdale Bronx 48.31
3 West Farms-Bronx River Bronx 46.21
4 Norwood Queens 42.00
5 Yorkville Manhattan 38.96

Nothing spoils your summer fun like stepping in poop on a hot day. That’s why we took a closer look at the top five neighborhoods with the most poop complaints per square mile so you know where to be extra careful walking around this summer. The number one neighborhood with the most poop complaints per square mile was located in the Bronx and it is Strongview-Bruckner with 77.15 poops per square mile.


Which neighborhoods have the most sidewalk cafes?
Neighborhood Borough Cafes/Square Mile
1 West Village Manhattan 153
2 East Village Manhattan 130
3 SoHo-TriBeCa-Civic Center-Little Italy Manhattan 120
4 Clinton Manhattan 80
5 Yorkville Manhattan 80

The sun is out, and so should you be. Enjoy the summer and check out all the sidewalk cafe’s New York has to offer. Cafe’s with outdoor seating is extremely popular during the summer, so where should you go to make sure you have a chance to secure a seat for brunch and people watching? Well, first of all you should go to Manhattan, as the top five neighborhoods with the most sidewalk cafe’s are all located in Manhattan. The number one neighborhood with outdoor seating is West Village, with 153 cafes/square mile.


Which neighborhoods have the most rooftops?
Neighborhood Borough Rooftops/Square Mile
1 Midtown-Midtown South Manhattan 39
2 Chinatown Manhattan 29
3 North Side-South Side Brooklyn 21
4 Gramercy Manhattan 15
5 Turtle Bay-East Midtown Manhattan 14

Spending time on a rooftop, sipping on a cocktail or a glass of wine, is probably one of our favorite past times as New Yorkers during summer. So where should you go if you are looking to find new rooftops to try out? Which neighborhoods has the most rooftops? The top five neighborhoods are all in Manhattan, except for number three on the list which is North Side-South Side (North Williamsburg). The number one neighborhood is Midtown-Midtown South with 39 rooftops per square mile.


Which neighborhoods have the most BBQ areas?
Neighborhood Borough BBQ Areas/Square Mile
1 Windsor Terrace Brooklyn 16
2 Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate Brooklyn 7
3 Flatbush Brooklyn 6
4 Park Slope-Gowanus Brooklyn 5
5 Manhattanville Manhattan 5

Regarding the top five neighborhoods with the most BBQ areas per square mile, it is not surprising that the majority of the neighborhoods on this list was located in Brooklyn. While Manhattan might be the borough with the most rooftops, Brooklyn can offer its residents and visitors designated areas to throw a BBQ.

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