Partners
HOME    BLOGS    BLOGGERS    MESSAGES    VIDEO    AUDIO    REPORTS    RESEARCH    WEBINARS

The State of the City Park

Adrian Benepe, SVP and Director of City Park Development at the Trust for Public Land, calls city parks in the US a "mixed bag." But to have a great city, you need great parks.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 02:00 EST | 10
Comment   Print   RSS
Newest First    Oldest First    Threaded View
Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
3/7/2013 11:03:27 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: No great city without parks
I think what I like best about the High Line, and about the idea of the High Line, is that it opens our eyes to areas that can become green spaces. Think about it, if an abandoned elevated freight rail line can suddenly become a beautiful, green park, and a place for tourists, and solace, the possibilities for urban greenery are pretty much unlimited. I think the High Line serves its neighborhood well -- if you know that area of the city at all, you know that today it's very commercial and trendy and modern and overpriced... so to be able to look up and see trees, and a walking path, elevated above all of that, is pretty special. And what Adrian says in his next video is great as well -- the fact that the revenue from the park has already made up for the public funding that was spent to build it.

It's a true success story, and it's great to see that other cities are getting set to follow our lead here.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
3/7/2013 10:52:22 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: No great city without parks
Nothing gets people talking like watching their kids or pets play together. It's so engaging. The world is a better place after a few minutes spent this way.

DSM419
DSM419  
3/7/2013 10:44:31 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: No great city without parks
I've yet to visit the highline. Guilty! My dad has been recommending that I do since it opened. I think this video was the fire under my butt I needed to get over there!

DSM419
DSM419  
3/7/2013 10:42:37 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: No great city without parks
I completely agree Mary! His statement is so true. A park is the heart of the city, there's something so lovely about strangers tanning together in the grass on a hot city day, or dogs playing together, children running around a jungle gym. The park is where we all go to be together and take in the things us humans need; air, sunshine, laughter, kindness (to name a few)!

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
3/5/2013 1:08:49 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: No great city without parks
I love the idea of the Highline, the innovative use of space to create urban greenery and a tourist attraction.

Admittedly, this was my first visit to the Highline! As I mentioned previously, I'm surrounded by parks uptown, so I haven't felt the need to go down to the Meat Packing District to walk along the Highline. That said, I'm delighted that these "rail-to-trail" conversions are catching on, and in another video we'll hear from Adrian about other innovative uses of land, and other cities that are taking a cue from New York.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
3/5/2013 1:03:32 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: No great city without parks
BTW, I love the highline pictures and I've heard so much about it that I'll make a special trip to visit it, as Adrian suggests others are doing.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
3/5/2013 11:22:40 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: No great city without parks
Definitely, Mary. Adrian is the right guy for the job because parks are his passion. Even after we finished filming, it was clear he could have talked about this topic with us all day. We'll have an upcoming piece from him in which he discusses building "fitness zones" in city parks around the US, which is a fantastic idea.

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
3/5/2013 11:20:01 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: Parks A Political Issue Needing Resolve
Hi @kq4ym: Yes, parks and green spaces are essential. One of the reasons I like living where I do in NYC is because I'm situated between two great parks -- Carl Schurz Park, which is one block away; and Central Park, which is a 15-minute walk westward (or a quick bus ride).

We have more videos from Adrian coming this week, who took the time to record several video blogs for us. One of the topics he spoke about is how the idea of "the park" could change in our future cities, where urban space and green space (hopefully) become one.

Funding is, indeed, an issue, and that's why it's good to have organizations like the Trust for Public Land looking out for park development.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
3/5/2013 10:45:29 AM
User Rank Staff
No great city without parks
Wonderful video, and I heartily agree with Adrian's statement that you cannot have a great city without parks. Kudos to his past tenure with NYC for helping parks there. I think he's drawing great attention to a key area in his present job as well.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
3/5/2013 10:00:56 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Parks A Political Issue Needing Resolve
Needless to say parks and open space are necessary ingredients for healthy living in an town, large or small.

The issues in funding parks, getting politicians and planners to agree where and how large are not insignificant.

Most areas and states have planning rules and requirements for the amount of space to be utilized for different typed of park space, and although one would think the codes would be easy enough to implement and carry out, it doesn't always work so easily.

In our area some dozen years ago, and part of the state mandatede required open space requirments for our county was a 27 hole golf course with tennis and pool facilities attached. While under private ownership it satisfied part of the county's requirement for certain numbers of acres and recreational facilities.

Unfortunately, the owner decided to sell off the golf course parcels to a dozen different entitities. The loss of the golf course land left the county deficient is atate mandated open space/recreational area. So, far and many years later, the replecement recreational land has not been developed to replace it. A bit of politics and funding is said to be responsible for the resulting lack of rec lands.

 

related videos
Cities Must 'Row the Boat' Away From ...
The Mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., discusses the need for ...
02:38
3 
How Open Data Challenges Communities
Ike Leggett, County Executive for Montgomery County, ...
01:28
2 
Urbanized Suburbia: How to Strike a Balance
Suburban areas are becoming more urbanized, presenting ...
01:59
5 
Next Steps for '100 Resilient Cities'
On December 3rd, The Rockefeller Foundation chose the first ...
04:28
5 
Urban Planning: Take a Strategic View
Copenhagen's approach to urban planning mixes a long-term ...
03:00
6 
Leaving NYC's DOT, With Safer Streets ...
Future Cities spoke with Janette Sadik-Khan about her ...
04:35
8 
Cleveland's Not Sustainable? Not So Fast
Despite claims that Cleveland, Ohio, doesn't care about ...
02:36
8 
Architects Need Public Space Training
Jan Gehl of Gehl Architects spoke to the Royal Institute of ...
02:43
7 
Cities Must Share Tech Network Ideas
Cities in the developed world face challenges retrofitting ...
02:22
10 
Pressure on Resources? Use Data
Cities around the world are working out how to accommodate ...
02:44
6 
Businesses Must Lead on City Innovation
City leaders can encourage technological innovation, but ...
02:44
8 
Property Firms Can Shape Smart Cities
Real estate companies can help cities become smarter by ...
02:21
4 
research
Smart City Money Makers
companies and solutions that are most prominent, and destined to be most profitable, in the smart city revolution.
How to Make Your City Smarter
Cities all over the world need to become smarter and more sustainable. But where to start? Download this guide to learn the first, proven steps toward making your city smarter.
all research
quick poll
Join the discussion
All polls
twitter feed
Future Cities Twitter Feed
follow us on facebook
Site Moderators
Future Cities is looking for engaged readers to moderate the message boards on this site. Engage in high-IQ conversations; earn kudos and perks. Interested? E-mail:
moderators@ubmfuturecities.com
directory
Designed to provide the people with access to green building products all year round
connect to us
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2014 UBM,
All rights reserved.