Posted on November 13, 2013 by Angelina Horn
Voters in Newark, Cleveland and Grand Rapids have overwhelmingly approved local taxes to pay for better parks in their cities, The Trust for Public Land announced.
On November 5th:
- Newark, N.J., voters gave 84% approval to create the Newark Open Space & Recreation Trust Fund, which would receive about $1.1 million a year to maintain city parks and provide new parks. The money would come from a tax of one penny per $100 of real property value.
- In Cuyahoga County, Ohio, voters in Cleveland and nearby communities gave 70% passage to a measure that increases the local levy used to pay for a variety of parks in the county. The measure will bring in about $75 million a year over the next 20 years.
- In Michigan, Grand Rapids voters passed by a 60–40 margin a park levy which will create $28 million over the next seven years.
The three successful city measures were among 15 local conservation spending proposals on the ballot. Twelve of the 15 passed, and will generate $1.8 billion for local conservation over the next two decades. The only major loss came in Boise, Idaho, where voters gave 62–38% support for a conservation tax, but that figure fell just short of the 2/3 approval required.
Filed under: funding | Tagged: ballot measures, cleveland, Grand Rapids, portland | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 4, 2013 by Kathy Blaha
Almost every city in America has a public-private partnership around one or more of its parks. Everyone is doing it, and everyone is asking the same questions about the best way to develop and manage them. It is a tough topic to wrap your head around since every partnership is a slightly different riff on the one they learned from. But the key question appears to be, what does the right agreement look like that keeps public space public?
Seattle is taking a big picture view of where and how they want to use partnerships and working hard on finding the best way to keep public space for the public. “Our approach is going to look different in different parts of the city,” says Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent for Seattle Parks and Recreation. “For example, in the downtown core Friends of the Central Waterfront are working with us in a guiding position for how the waterfront gets redeveloped.”
Filed under: funding, partnerships, planning, renewal | Tagged: Kathy Blaha, public-private partnerships, seattle | Leave a Comment »
Posted on September 26, 2013 by Kathy Blaha
I’ve talked a lot in this blog about private public partnerships (P3s) where a public agency owns the land and a private partner collaborates on design, development, management or programming. But what about when a private partner owns land for a public park? The next few blog posts will focus on places in the country where private leaders are instrumental in developing and running public parks – on private land. In Louisville, 21st Century Parks (21C) is completing one of the largest new parks in the country – over 4,000 acres – that will be owned and managed by a private nonprofit, working in partnership with Louisville Metro Parks.
The Parklands is a donor-supported 4,000-acre park system consisting of four major parks — linked by a park drive. The park is the vision and work of a group of private leaders and visionaries who wanted to complete the system envisioned by Olmsted’s 1891 design. Almost all of the land for the park has been privately acquired and put under easement – with 21C developing and managing the park for public use.
I talked with Dan Jones recently about the unique partnership in Louisville with private leadership driving the new park. Jones is the CEO of 21st Century Parks, the private nonprofit that owns and oversees The Parklands. He and his father, David A. Jones, the co-founder of Humana, have been working on the project for nearly a decade. Together, they have secured more than $120 million of private and public funding to fully fund their vision for a new park system.
Filed under: economics, funding, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning | Tagged: 21st Century Parks, Kathy Blaha, Louisville KY, public-private partnerships, The Parklands | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 11, 2013 by Angelina Horn
By Catherine Nagel, Executive Director, City Parks Alliance
Recently, a group of City Parks Alliance members visited a dozen park projects in Los Angeles and Orange County, as part of CPA’s 2013 Summer Tour of Parks. We met with experts and learned about new approaches to park management, programming, funding and stewardship. Our local hosts from the Los Angeles Park Foundation, Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department, California State Parks Foundation, Orange County Great Park, and The Trust for Public Land led the 35-person group from 12 cities through neighborhoods, along the Los Angeles River and down to Irvine. Scholarships and support for this year’s tour were also provided by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.
Filed under: crime & safety, facilities, funding, green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, programming | Tagged: City Parks Alliance, los angeles, Los Angeles Parks Foundation, park tours, public-private partnerships | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 19, 2013 by Angelina Horn
Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes a “Frontline Park” to promote and highlight inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing our cities’ parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay.
New York, NY
Bryant Park is a 9.6 acre park adjacent to the New York Public Library in Midtown Manhattan. Despite its prime location and rich history, the scenic landmark suffered from a high crime rate and lack of visitors in the 1960s – 70s, and mounting concerns led The Rockefeller Brothers Fund to commission a report detailing the degraded state of the park. In 1980, with support and guidance from Mayor Edward I. Koch, the NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and the New York Public Library, the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation (now the Bryant Park Corporation) was established to improve the park, with Daniel Biederman and Andrew Heiskell at the helm. (more…)
Filed under: crime & safety, facilities, funding, maintenance/management, planning, programming, renewal | Tagged: Bryant Park, Frontline Parks, new york city, public-private partnerships | 1 Comment »