Posted on March 3, 2017 by Kathy Blaha
Can pop-up parks and public space projects trigger investment in new public parks? Is there a role for community-generated projects in the formal planning process?
The Miami Foundation is working to find out with its Miami Public Space Challenge, now going into its fifth year. The Public Space Challenge uncovers the best ideas for creating, improving and activating parks, plazas, and local gathering places. Since 2013 more than 1,432 project submissions have been made and $870,000 awarded for 70 projects. Continue reading
Filed under: funding, partnerships, planning, programming | Tagged: creative placemaking, Florida, Greater & Greener, Kathy Blaha, miami, minneapolis, Saint Paul | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 1, 2016 by Kathy Blaha
“I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.”
― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
To be a tree in the city is very hard. A tree that would live 80 years in the forest has a life expectancy of 20 years in the suburbs, and less than that in an urban setting where trees are often planted in sidewalk cutouts. Let’s face it; even if a tree gets planted correctly and watered, it faces a host of other environmental and human challenges ranging from storms, insects, air pollution, and low-quality soil to road salt and reckless drivers.
Thanks to the National Urban and Community Advisory Council (NUCFAC) and their newly released 10-year Urban and Community Forestry Action Plan, there is a clear outline of all the reasons we should nurture our urban trees. I recently spoke with Liam Kavanagh, NUCFAC’s Plan Chair and New York City’s First Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Parks and Recreation, about the plan’s goals. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, funding, green infrastructure, health, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning | Tagged: Kathy Blaha, nyc parks, urban trees | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 9, 2016 by Kathy Blaha
Michael Stevens walks CPA board members through waterfront development plans
On a cool and rainy afternoon, the City Parks Alliance Board of Directors traveled to the DC waterfront to visit a few of the city’s newest parks and to hear how they are being managed in a creative partnership with the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID). Michael Stevens, President, Capitol Riverfront BID and Dan Melman, Vice President of Parks and the Public Realm for the BID, were our hosts for a tour of Canal and Yards parks and a discussion about the BID’s role in parks.
The Capitol Riverfront BID manages 10 acres of parks, including Yards Park and Canal Park, which are considered the “front yards” for the growing neighborhood and regularly host events attracting over 75,000 people. Continue reading
Filed under: economics, facilities, funding, green infrastructure, maintenance/management, partnerships, planning, programming, renewal | Tagged: Canal Park, DC, District of Columbia, Kathy Blaha, public-private partnerships, Yards Park | 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 »