Community Parks Initiative: Improving Park Equity

Monday, May 8, 2017 | 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • The implementation of a $285 million parks equity initiative that leverages resources from a variety of partners and spans across communities with diverse needs 

  • The data-driven methodology behind the development of this multi-million dollar project 

  • How NYC Parks is collecting key metrics to demonstrate the project’s impact, gain a deeper understanding of the parks system, and anticipate future needs

  • How park designers are using extensive public outreach strategies to create more accessible parks

New York is famous for its destination parks such as Central Park or the High Line. But it’s the city’s neighborhood parks that most influence residents’ daily lives.

After decades of disinvestment in public space, however, many of these neighborhood parks had fallen into disrepair and ceased to meet the needs of their surrounding communities. In response, NYC Parks launched the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), a data-driven, interdisciplinary approach to reimagine parks in the city’s poorest, densest, and fastest-growing neighborhoods. Since the program’s 2014 inception, NYC Parks has utilized an extensive (and inclusive) public outreach process to engage 2,100 community stakeholders in the redesign and reconstruction of 47 parks.

This session addresses the challenges and opportunities planners faced in creating an equitable parks system and the interdisciplinary methods they employed to enhance accessibility and encourage broader usership of parks this dynamic city. It also looks at how NYC Parks built a framework for the sustained care of parks in CPI neighborhoods and leveraged public and private resources to address park equity through a sweeping, coordinated process that has catalyzed parks equity programs in several other major cities.   


Mark Levine , New York City Council , New York , NY (see bio)
Alyssa Konon , NYC Parks , New York , NY (see bio)
Susannah Drake , DLANDstudio , Brooklyn , NY (see bio)
Mitchell Silver , FAICP , Brooklyn , NY (see bio)