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Redevelopment Agencies Breaking Ground with Parks

Jamison Square, Portland, Oregon

From Boston to San Francisco, successful parks have been fashioned out of former factories, home sites, office buildings, railyards, parking lots, landfills, and even highways. Many of these city parks aren’t being created by park and recreation departments but rather by redevelopment and housing authorities.

A 2008 survey of big cities by the Center for City Park Excellence found 75 parks created by such agencies. In an article (download the pdf) that appeared in the December 2008 issue of the Journal of Housing and Community Development, the Center looks into how these agencies are creating urban parks to improve quality of life, reduce environmental harm and add economic value.  (The journal is a publication of the National Association of Housing and Redeveopment Officials.)

For built out cities with nothing left to conserve or set aside for parks, redevelopment entities are unique and natural partners for creating parks. For those interested in how parks can be a part of redevelopments, this article could be a good resource.

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