Neighborhood Effects: A Help or Hindrance to Parks?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 | 10 a.m. - noon
CM | 1.50
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You'll learn about:

  • The strategic use of local zoning, including transfer of development rights and setbacks, to enhance the success of the High Line and its neighborhood. 

  • How neighborhood zoning decisions can detract from a park, as with the shadows cast by tall towers in the district rezoned south of Central Park. 

  • The case study of environmental justice in the citing of the North River Treatment Plant and subsequent creation of the Riverbank State Park.

  • The role of a BID vs. Community Boards vs. Non-Profit Advocacy Groups in planning and maintaining parks.  

Urban parks play a key role in achieving environmental goals, among other things contributing to ecosystem services and stormwater management, addressing environmental inequities and serving as neighborhood foci for recycling and urban gardens.

The effectiveness of any park in achieving these goals, however, is always shaped, at least in part, by planning decisions in adjacent blocks and parcels. In the case of Central Park, the shadows cast by tall towers in nearby rezoned areas have had a negative impact on the environment there. Adjacent to the High Line, on the other hand, strategic rezoning has supported the aesthetic experience of walking through the park while also facilitating a complementary rise in commercial (restaurant) and residential development.

This workshop is provided as an opportunity for participants to visit a small sample of New York City’s parks and hear from experts (whether from the private, public or non-profit sector) with special knowledge of the way their parks are shaped by local planning organizations and decisions---for better or for worse. Participants download these presentations as podcasts and tour the parks at their own rate. A culminating experience of a restaurant reception (cocktail hour Hors d’Oeuvres) and comparing notes will help participants consolidate newly acquired understandings.