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The Future of Parks and Public Space

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Mitchell J. Silver

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The Future of Parks and Public Space

  1. 1. Photo:NYCParks The Future of Parks and Public Space Mitchell Silver, FAICP, Hon. ASLA Email: Mitchell.silver@parks.nyc.gov Twitter & Instagram: @mitchell_silver
  2. 2. NYC Parks By the Numbers 30,000 acres of parkland 10,000 acres of natural areas 1,900 parks 1,000 playgrounds 1,000 buildings 155 miles of coast 14 miles of public beaches 2 million trees in parks 650,000 street trees 67 pools 48 recreational facilities 17 nature centers 1,200 monuments 28 art exhibits 2,500 miles of GreenStreets 1,772 basketball courts 800 athletic fields 600 community gardens 500 tennis courts 13 golf courses 9 ice skating rinks 23 historic houses 14 green roofs 400 concession contracts 1,800 community groups 7,000 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) $532M FY18 Expense Budget $4.0B 10-year Capital Budget Over 570 active projects
  3. 3. Mid-19th Century: Gardens
  4. 4. Late 19th to early 20th Century: Landscape Architecture
  5. 5. Photo: NYC Parks Archive 1930-1965: Recreational Facilities Era
  6. 6. • Environmental Era – Return to the City Late 20th Century: Environmental Movement
  7. 7. Late 20th Century: Environmental Movement
  8. 8. Late 20th Century: Environmental Movement
  9. 9. 1. Parks are not just green spaces, but public spaces for people 2. Spaces for physical and mental well being 3. Not just an amenity, but city infrastructure that must be integrated with the economy, environment and people in mind. 4. First line of defense against climate change Parks in the 21st Century Photo: NYC Parks
  10. 10. 1. Equity 2. Planning & Placemaking 3. Resiliency 4. Innovation and Technology What’s Next?
  11. 11. Framework for an Equitable Future Photo: NYC Parks
  12. 12. Capital in Context • NYC Parks spent ~ $5.7 billion on capital improvements over the past two decades • Acquired 1,168 acres since 2001 • 81.5% New Yorkers live within a walk of a park • Proximity vs. Quality Photos: NYC Parks
  13. 13. Equity = Fairness
  14. 14. Equity in Context • 215 parks across the city received minimal capital investment - less than $250,000 over 20 years Map: NYC Parks
  15. 15. CPI Capital Program Invest $318M to re-create 67 community parks Targeted Physical Improvements 111 smaller-scale physical park improvement projects • All work done with in-house crews • Repainting/repairing play equipment • Repainting handball courts and multi-purpose play areas • Repainting/repairing benches • Improving horticultural areas and lawn restoration • Sports coating Community Parks Initiative 16
  16. 16. Lafayette Playground, Brooklyn Park or parking lot?
  17. 17. Stockton Playground, Brooklyn
  18. 18. Spray Showers Adult Fitness Design Precedent for New Parks
  19. 19. Playground Ages 2-5 Fitness, Handball Courts, Gathering Areas Design Precedent for New Parks
  20. 20. Planted Areas Planting/Stormwater Capture Design Precedent for New Parks
  21. 21. Multi-generational social seating Design Precedent for New Parks
  22. 22. Grand Avenue Playground, Bronx
  23. 23. Community Parks Initiative
  24. 24. Planning & Placemaking Photo:NYCParks
  25. 25. • Experience of Place • Memory of Place • Authenticity of Place • Don’t just create a park or public space, MAKE A PLACE. Placemaking and Spacemaking Photo: Ken Bowers
  26. 26. Source: Mitchell Silver adapted from various sources Photos: NYC Parks Plan for the Consumers Greatest Generation 1901-1924 Silent/Mature Generation 1923-1945 Baby Boom Generation 1946-1964 Generation X 1965-1981 Generation Y 1982-1995 Generation Z 1996-today
  27. 27. Future Consumer Demand Photos: xxxxxxxSource: James Chung, Reach Advisors Future consumer preferences and market demands
  28. 28. Generational Profiles: New York City Greatest Generation 1901-1924 1.9% Silent/Mature Generation 1923-1945 10.9% Baby Boom Generation 1946-1964 24.5% Generation X 1965-1981 22.6% Generation Y 1982-1995 22.3% Generation Z 1996-today 17.8% XYZ total (53 and under) 62.7% Source: Methodology developed by Mitchell Silver based on 2013 U.S. Census
  29. 29. Previous generations were consumers of goods. New generations are consumers of experiences. We should not be just designers and planners, but experience builders Consumer Preferences Photo: Mitchell Silver
  30. 30. People may eat and sleep in their homes or apartments, but they live in the public realm.
  31. 31. 130 million visits to parks annually
  32. 32. What about the Public Realm? Streets, sidewalks, bike lanes, parks, and public spaces are viewed as separate systems and managed by different agencies. Parks 14% Streets and sidewalks 26% NYC Public Realm 40% Photo: ny.curbed.com
  33. 33. 54Parks Without BordersThe sidewalk adjacent to the park should be considered the outer park - Frederick Law Olmsted
  34. 34. 55Parks Without Borders NYC City Charter, Chapter 21 Parks: to manage and care for all parks, squares, public places, the sidewalks immediately adjoining the same..
  35. 35. Rufus King Park, Queens
  36. 36. Bellrose Playground, Queens
  37. 37. Father Jerry Popieluszko Square, Brooklyn
  38. 38. Thomas Greene Playground, Brooklyn
  39. 39. Thomas Greene Playground, Brooklyn
  40. 40. Parks Without Borders
  41. 41. OneNYC calls for greater access to parks for all New Yorkers. Parks Without Borders is a key strategy to achieve this goal. $50 million has been set aside to make it a reality. Excerpt from OneNYC Report
  42. 42. Parks Without Borders is a new design approach focusing on improving the areas where parks and neighborhoods meet: entrances, edges, and park-adjacent spaces. Entrances Edges Park-adjacent spaces
  43. 43. Entrances Before After Opening sight lines, removing gates, and adding furnishings and amenities can draw more people into the park.
  44. 44. Edges Before After Allowing better views into the park and making better use of the sidewalk can make neighborhoods more beautiful.
  45. 45. Park-Adjacent Spaces Before After Rethinking underused spaces and adding amenities can create new centers of community activity.
  46. 46. Public Feedback
  47. 47. • Map online November 12–March 1 • Over 6,100 nominations • 692 Parks • All 59 community boards • All 5 boroughs Public Feedback
  48. 48. • Faber Park • Seward Park • Jackie Robinson Park • Van Cortlandt Park • Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground • Flushing Meadows Corona Park • Fort Greene Park • Prospect Park 8 Showcase Projects 50 Pipeline Projects PROSPECT PARK FORT GREENE PARK FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK FABER POOL AND PARK SEWARD PARK JACKIE ROBINSON PARK VAN CORTLANDT PARK HUGH J. GRANT CIRCLE / VIRGINIA PARK & PLGD
  49. 49. Seward Park
  50. 50. Prospect Park
  51. 51. Current Conditions Prospect Park – Flatbush Avenue Entrance Budget: $3.2M • Design completion: January 2018 (Pending LPC Approval) • Anticipated construction completion: Winter 2019/2020 • This project includes the construction of 2 new entrances into Prospect Park at the northern section of Flatbush Avenue. The scope incorporates new paving, benches, and rustic stone work to respect the character of this Landmarked Park. New Design
  52. 52. 81
  53. 53. 82
  54. 54. Create more equitable parks system with a seamless public realm for present and future generations
  55. 55. Thank you

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