Posted on November 21, 2013 by Kathy Blaha
This year the City Parks Alliance was one of the hosts to the International Downtown Association’s World Congress in New York. The theme, “People/Places/Partnerships,” focused on how leaders across the globe are transforming buildings, places and streets through design, redevelopment, place management and distinctive programming. City Parks Alliance added a focus on downtown parks by organizing tours.
I’ve talked about downtown associations before – and business improvement districts (BIDs) – and their increasing willingness to take on parks to help enliven and beautify downtowns. BIDs exist in almost every one of the top 50 largest cities in the United States. BIDs, mostly financed by taxes on property owners in a given district, are increasingly including public spaces and parks in their mission.
Downtown Seattle Association (DSA) is no different. It has been in existence since 1953 and in the late 1990s, the leadership formed a BID to help them carry out their mission. With six hundred residential and business members they include parks in their mission. “We care about the parks because our policy and advocacy agenda focuses on the health and vitality of public spaces – parks, plazas and sidewalks,” says Jon Scholes, DSA’s Vice President for Advocacy and Economic Development. (more…)
Filed under: maintenance/management, partnerships, programming | Tagged: BIDs, Kathy Blaha, public-private partnerships, seattle | Leave a 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 20, 2013 by Kathy Blaha
I had the opportunity to visit the land of the midnight sun this summer and took time out to meet Beth Nordlund, Executive Director of the Anchorage Park Foundation. Anchorage is the northernmost city in the U.S. with almost 300,000 residents – 40% of the state’s population. The city has 500,000 acres of parkland, with 460,000 of it in Chugach State Park. Bears are regularly sighted in the city and moose are a common sight. In fact, many moose were grazing along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail where I bicycled during my visit.
Filed under: partnerships, programming | Tagged: Alaska, Anchorage Parks Foundation; Kathy Blaha, P3s, public-private partnerships | Leave a Comment »
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 »
Posted on August 14, 2013 by Kathy Blaha
If I could peek into the future to see what private park organizations might look like in the coming years, I suspect they would resemble the San Francisco Parks Alliance – a new organization, resulting from a merger, that is taking on a far larger and more complex mission for public parks in that city. The Alliance’s mission – a mix of stewardship, philanthropy and advocacy – is about balancing a collaborative approach to a huge challenge.
Filed under: funding, maintenance/management, partnerships, programming | Tagged: Kathy Blaha, P3s, public-private partnerships, san francisco | Leave a Comment »