This news item written by New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver describes our changing perspective on parks.
New York City’s parks have over 130 million visits a year but have also been examples of rebuilding for rising sea levels, storm surges and barriers to buffer waterfront neighbourhoods. Just as Greenways in Vancouver has demonstrated best practices incorporating bioswales and rain gardens, New York City has used their parks for similar experiments, building a network of green infrastructure.
But even more importantly, New York City is codifying the economic value of parks. “ According to the Trust for Public Land, well-maintained parks add 15 percent to the value of homes within 500 feet. Our experience in New York bears that out. For example, in under a decade the world-famous High Line has brought more than two billion dollars in new real estate investment to the surrounding community –an enormous return on investment for a $153 million park. An older but well-loved landmark can also drive value: Central Park generates $1 billion dollars of economic benefits annually. “