Posted on April 12, 2016 by Abby Martin
The following is an excerpt from City Parks, Clean Water, a report by The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence that examines the role of urban parks in managing stormwater. This is the second installment in a series of 19 posts.
One of several water features in the park. (Darcy Kiefel)
One of the nation’s most celebrated marriages of recreation and green infrastructure,
Atlanta’s Historic Fourth Ward Park is a $23-million triumph of engineering over flooding and landscape design over stop-gap asphalt.
Filed under: economics, green infrastructure, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning | Tagged: atlanta, City Parks Clean Water, downtown, public-private partnerships, research | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 23, 2016 by Kathy Blaha
If a Google search of parks and equity was your only measure of who is taking on this issue, it would seem that New York is miles ahead of other cities, as it appears over and over in the search results. But in fact, New York is one of many major cities in the US focusing on the equity issue as best as they can.
Norm Krumholz, Cleveland city planner in the 1970s, was one of the first to define “equity planning,” which he described this way: “You keep your eye on who gets helped and who gets hurt and for the people who usually get hurt – you try to make sure they don’t get hurt as bad.”
Who gets helped and who gets hurt in a city may best be seen through the lens of our public parks – a potent symbol of a city’s equity balance. In this ongoing struggle, two park agencies, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Portland (OR) Parks and Recreation, have hired staff specifically to address equity. Art Hendricks is the Equity and Inclusion Director for Portland Parks & Recreation, and Michelle Kellogg is the Equity and Inclusion Project Manager for MPRB. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, programming, uncategorized | Tagged: community action, equity, inclusion, Kathy Blaha, minneapolis, Oregon, portland | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 25, 2016 by Kathy Blaha
Despite widespread acceptance regarding the value of city parks, we have surprisingly few ways to measure their individual and collective success. The Trust for Public Land’s ParkScore Index is one tool that measures how well the 75 largest cities are meeting their park needs. The City Parks Project’s green access and equity maps for Los Angeles also look to capture equitable access to parks. These and other efforts are finding ways to measure access and investment to help guide city spending. But equity is more than access and even more than spending.
At a time when cities are looking to new models for operating their parks more equitably and efficiently, more effective tools and data are needed to make the case for strategic investment. In particular, making the case for equity is important since new strategies are often employed in those neighborhoods where there is a strong voice, potential partners and a perceived greater chance of success, leaving neighborhoods that lack resources – and clout – behind. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, partnerships, programming, renewal | Tagged: equity, Kathy Blaha, Mickey Fearn | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 14, 2015 by Kathy Blaha
Something is up in Texas. Philanthropy has discovered parks. In Dallas, the Belo Foundation, looking to build on the success of Klyde Warren Park, Belo Garden, and Main Street Garden, has just announced an ambitious plan – and $30 million in funding – to realize a vision for downtown by creating 17 acres of new green space through the construction of four major parks.
And in Houston, Hermann Park recently opened McGovern Centennial Gardens after a $31 million renovation. Memorial Park has a new master plan and funding stream; and the Kinder Foundation, which provided substantial funding for Discovery Green, has also funded the new Buffalo Bayou Park and the Bayou Greenway 2020 Plan.
Discovery Green changed the way people think about parks in Houston, and making the transition from being a city known for having the widest freeway in the world to a city that understands parks is fundamental to its prosperity. Leading the charge has been the philanthropic community which sees that “green is good” for health, recreation, and the economy, allowing the city to enhance its quality of life in order to attract and retain engineers, scientists, and other professionals. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, employment, funding, green infrastructure, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning | Tagged: Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Discovery Green, houston, Houston Parks and Recreation, Houston Parks Board, Kathy Blaha | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 24, 2015 by timherd
While Pennsylvania’s hills and valleys are renowned for its forests and farms, its natural assets and beauties, and its rural character and charms, 84 percent of its citizens live in urban areas: the Commonwealth has 53 cities and 30 boroughs with populations greater than 10,000.
Emerald View Park (Photo credit: Brian Cohen)
Today’s workers have many choices about where they live, and they are actively choosing to settle in vibrant urban centers that support their needs. Many in the creative industries, knowledge workers, young people, families and retirees are all choosing urban areas that offer a strong economic base and amenities that add to their quality of life. It is increasingly clear that livable communities that can attract and retain highly skilled workers will be winners in the global economy.
One of the most important features of an attractive, vibrant urban area is an engaging park system. Supporting the economy, public health, environment, workforce development, and education, park and recreation services are also one of the most important factors contributing to the satisfaction and happiness of citizens in their communities—second only to faith-based institutions. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, programming | Tagged: Pennsylvania, urban parks alliance | Leave a comment »