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 | 4 Comments »
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 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 »
Posted on November 5, 2014 by Allison Paisner
When it comes to a potential model for the future of city parks, Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas may not stand out among others purely based on looks, but it represents a leap forward in thinking about funding and how to develop parks in car-oriented cities.
Photo Courtesy of Klyde Warren Park
Proposed as a deck above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, the cap park required $110 million worth of funding to be split between the city of Dallas, the state of Texas, and the private sector. In the end, the city contributed $20 million in bond funds, the state contributed $20 million in highway funds, $16.7 million came from stimulus funding, and the private sector filled the gap when public funds fell short. More than $50 million was donated from private sources, and the Woodall Rodgers Park was renamed Klyde Warren, after the son of donor Kelcy Warren. Unlike other public-private partnerships in the city, such as the zoo and the arboretum, Klyde Warren Park does not receive any operating subsidy, nor does it charge admission. Continue reading
Filed under: maintenance/management, partnerships, programming, transportation | Tagged: Klyde | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 21, 2014 by Kathy Blaha
Earlier this month, more than 30 park professionals from the US and Canada were hosted by Denver Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with City Parks Alliance for a tour of their park system. Eighteen cities were represented, including teams from Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
Photo courtesy of Hope Gibson
The Denver team put on a first class demonstration of their expertise in planning, design, construction and programming – from the smallest neighborhood park to Red Rocks Amphitheater, a part of Denver’s mountain parks system – and in every case showing us how a twenty-first century city parks department operates: seamlessly.
From the neighborhood partnerships to the collaboration with their own city departments to alliances with social service providers, arts and music organizations, and other parks programmers, Denver’s parks department uses and leverages all the value that parks offer and its mission can muster. Citywide partners like the Trust for Public Land – perfectly exemplifying its urban mission – and the Colorado Health Foundation are working closely with the department on many of its projects; as are local developers, transit, and bicycling partners. On some of our park visits it was hard to tell who worked for whom; in fact, most simply said they worked for the parks.
Filed under: economics, facilities, funding, green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, programming, transportation | Tagged: City Parks Alliance, Colorado, denver, Denver Parks and Recreation, Kathy Blaha, TPL | Leave a comment »