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 April 14, 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 third installment in a series of 19 posts.
Railroad Park provides a new water feature for Birmingham. (Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham)
Many cities align development along a river, lakeshore, or ocean, but for landlocked
Birmingham, the focal point has long been the city’s railroads. Even though the railyards have shrunk and industrial areas have opened up for redevelopment, trains still regularly rumble through downtown.
By the early 2000s, several studies had suggested converting the Railroad Reservation, one of the old industrial sites downtown, into a park. The slowly rebounding central core needed a high-visibility project for future development; a park could reconnect the bifurcated city by linking the historic downtown with the booming University of Alabama Birmingham campus and hospital south of the tracks. The concept finally gained traction in 2002 when Planning Director Bill Gilchrest arranged for the Urban Land Institute to come down for a study. A positive review, plus the advocacy of Friends of the Railroad Reservation District, pushed the city to update its City Center Master Plan with a focus on the new park. As a bonus, it appeared the park could be designed to reduce the flooding that had plagued the former marsh since the early 1900s. Continue reading
Filed under: facilities, funding, green infrastructure, partnerships, planning | Tagged: City Parks Clean Water, public-private partnerships, smart growth | Leave a comment »
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 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 January 12, 2015 by Kathy Blaha
Last month the City Parks Alliance (CPA) held a pilot workshop in a concerted effort to develop a teaching strategy for helping park professionals learn and understand partnerships and collaboration. More than twenty participants attended the day-long event held at Augustus Hawkins Natural Park in Los Angeles, supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and hosted by the Los Angeles Parks Foundation.
(L to R): Jackie Carrera, Gordon Robertson, and Dale Larsen
I had the privilege of facilitating the discussion and was supported by City Parks Alliance staffers, Executive Director Catherine Nagel and Outreach & Program Manager Angie Horn, as well as a team of three experienced urban park professionals: Jackie Carrera, a recent transplant to Los Angeles after 21 years as CEO for Parks and People in Baltimore; Gordon Robertson, Director of Planning and Design for Denver Parks and Recreation; and Dale Larsen, Professor of Practice & Honors Faculty at Arizona State University and former Director of Parks & Recreation in Phoenix. Collectively they represented more than 100 years of experience in city park partnerships!
We structured an agenda based on surveying park partners in California to find out what they wanted to learn. Response to the survey centered on four ideas for shaping an agenda:
- Understanding the need for partnership; why and how partners should work together
- Getting started by scoping out responsibilities and structuring agreements
- Working together day to day, communicating, team-building, and establishing trust
- Building a culture of collaboration and shared vision for the long run
And so for the day-long session we shaped our workshop around these four areas. The small size of the group meant that we could use our time for discussion, storytelling, and sharing successes and failures. The experts in the room shared lessons and reflected on their experiences with public and private partners. Continue reading
Filed under: funding, maintenance/management, partnerships, programming | Tagged: California, governance, Greater & Greener, Kathy Blaha, los angeles, P3s, public-private partnerships, urban parks conference | Leave a comment »