Posted on June 30, 2015 by Kathy Blaha
The new 606 is open in Chicago – a mix of 2.7 miles of elevated trail with four ground-level parks along the route. Amidst the excitement of this new linear park, which will bridge four neighborhoods historically underserved by parks, is the familiar cautionary tale about its potential gentrifying impact. Like New York’s High Line, the badly needed park amenity is being viewed partly in light of its negative effects on the neighborhood it was designed to serve. (The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl said about the High Line, “As a catalyst of neighborhood change, the High Line has been to usual gentrification what a bomb is to bottle rockets.”)
But the issue of the impact of a new park on property values – and the resulting displacement of longtime residents by the rising cost of housing – is worth a thoughtful analysis. Are we blaming parks for increasing property values, or might that be better explained as the result of the state of the housing market and public policy? Continue reading
Filed under: economics, maintenance/management, planning, renewal, transportation | Tagged: 606, Brooklyn Bridge Park, chicago, gentrification, housing, real estate | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 5, 2015 by Angelina Horn
Off-leash dog parks lead the pack in new urban parks, growing 20% over the past five years and 6% in 2014, according to The Trust for Public Land’s most recent data on city park systems across the country.
The 2015 City Parks Facts report is the nation’s most complete compilation of data about parks in the nation’s largest 100 cities. The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit that works to create parks and protect open space, releases the report annually through its Center for City Park Excellence. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, maintenance/management | Tagged: City Parks Facts, dog parks, park stats, TPL | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 29, 2015 by Angelina Horn
Each month, City Parks Alliance names one “Frontline Park” as a standout example of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship from across the country. The program identifies city parks that find innovative ways to meet the unique challenges faced as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures and urban neighborhood decay. In recognition of its innovative practices in partnerships and sustainable funding, Brooklyn Bridge Park has been named a Frontline Park.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is the product of more than 20 years of extensive community planning and advocacy. For years after shipping activity ceased at the piers, the land sat empty and was isolated from surrounding neighborhoods. Developing the site into a park was not straightforward or simple, given the waterfront location and proximity to a major highway. Planning and design was further complicated by the need to consider the integrity of the shoreline, and to ensure that the park could withstand major floods, storm surges, and any rise in sea level, which would drive up future maintenance costs. With a limited amount of public money available, other revenue streams would be necessary to ensure the park’s future viability. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, maintenance/management, planning, programming, transportation | Tagged: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Frontline Parks, public-private partnerships | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 12, 2015 by Kathy Blaha
Last month the City Parks Alliance (CPA) held a pilot workshop in a concerted effort to develop a teaching strategy for helping park professionals learn and understand partnerships and collaboration. More than twenty participants attended the day-long event held at Augustus Hawkins Natural Park in Los Angeles, supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and hosted by the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
(L to R): Jackie Carrera, Gordon Robertson, and Dale Larsen
I had the privilege of facilitating the discussion and was supported by City Parks Alliance staffers, Executive Director Catherine Nagel and Outreach & Program Manager Angie Horn, as well as a team of three experienced urban park professionals: Jackie Carrera, a recent transplant to Los Angeles after 21 years as CEO for Parks and People in Baltimore; Gordon Robertson, Director of Planning and Design for Denver Parks and Recreation; and Dale Larsen, Professor of Practice & Honors Faculty at Arizona State University and former Director of Parks & Recreation in Phoenix. Collectively they represented more than 100 years of experience in city park partnerships!
We structured an agenda based on surveying park partners in California to find out what they wanted to learn. Response to the survey centered on four ideas for shaping an agenda:
- Understanding the need for partnership; why and how partners should work together
- Getting started by scoping out responsibilities and structuring agreements
- Working together day to day, communicating, team-building, and establishing trust
- Building a culture of collaboration and shared vision for the long run
And so for the day-long session we shaped our workshop around these four areas. The small size of the group meant that we could use our time for discussion, storytelling, and sharing successes and failures. The experts in the room shared lessons and reflected on their experiences with public and private partners. Continue reading
Filed under: funding, maintenance/management, partnerships, programming | Tagged: California, governance, Greater & Greener, Kathy Blaha, los angeles, P3s, public-private partnerships, urban parks conference | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 25, 2014 by Angelina Horn
Each month, City Parks Alliance names one “Frontline Park” as a standout example of urban park excellence, innovation and stewardship from across the country. The program identifies city parks that find innovative ways to meet the unique challenges faced as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures and urban neighborhood decay. In recognition of its innovative practices in community engagement and fundraising, Railroad Park has been named a Frontline Park.
“We’re proud when Railroad Park earns recognition because it shows that outside groups see what our frequent visitors see. City Parks Alliance studies urban parks across the continent. They track parks’ impact on surrounding communities, and they highlight green spaces that revitalize and contribute significantly to their cities,” said Jim Emison, President of the Railroad Park Foundation Board of Directors. “That’s Railroad Park Foundation’s mission for Birmingham, and it’s wonderful to be recognized for those results. Parks in New York and Toronto and Chicago and Los Angeles have received this distinction in the past, as has Birmingham’s own Red Mountain Park. We’re proud to be in the company of such visionary park leadership that actively works to improve communities.” Continue reading
Filed under: green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, programming, renewal, transportation | Tagged: Birmingham, Frontline Parks, Railroad Park | Leave a comment »