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Eight New York parks chosen for facelift after thousands of citizens vote in public outreach design scheme

Eight New York parks have been selected for reconstruction as part of the Parks Without Borders campaign to beautify the city’s public spaces.

The scheme launched in November 2015 with US$50m (€46.8m, £32.8m) in mayoral funding. The public were invited to vote for the parks they would most like to see improved, following the Parks Without Borders design principles – increasing accessibility, opening sight lines, beautifying edges, adding furnishings and amenities to under-utilised spaces and improving connection with communities.

The public had their say via an online survey, community meetings and votes held at public libraries. Over 6,000 nominations were received for 691 parks – over 30 per cent of the green spaces in the city.

Speaking after the launch of the vote, NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell Silver told CLAD that the initiative “flows from the idea that the public realm should be a unified space, promoting freedom of movement and making all parts of the public realm as seamless as possible”.

He said an open design approach “makes people feel a greater sense of belonging and ownership with their parks, as well as improving public safety by allowing better natural surveillance of public spaces.”

After the vote finished in February this year, NYC Parks began the process of selecting eight showcase parks to kickstart the redesign programme. The criteria including community support, park access and current physical conditions and context.

The eight parks selected are:

Staten Island

• Faber Park

Brooklyn

• Prospect Park

• Fort Greene Park

Bronx

• Van Cortlandt Park

• Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground

Manhattan

• Jackie Robinson Park

• Seward Park

Queens

• Flushing Meadows Corona Park

“Parks Without Borders represents a giant step forward in our vision for the role green spaces play in New York’s communities. This innovative approach to integrating our parks more seamlessly into the fabric of the city will help New Yorkers feel even more at home in their neighbourhood parks – or as we like to call them, NYC’s backyard,” said New York mayor Bill de Blasio.

Silver added: “Parks Without Borders has engaged thousands of New Yorkers, who shared ideas for park improvements online and in person. That’s proof of how excited they are to increase accessibility and openness in their favourite parks.”

The eight showcase parks will share a US$40m (€36m, £27.6m) cut of the funding to improve their current layout, condition and relationship to their surroundings.

The other US$10m (€9.3m, £6.5m) will be used to update 51 other sites, 32 of which were chosen through a City Parks Initiative.

The goal of NYC Parks is to have 85 per cent of New Yorkers living within walking distance of a park.

New York  parks  Parks Without Borders  public outreach  Mitchell Silver  NYC Parks  Bill de Blasio 
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Eight New York parks have been selected for reconstruction as part of the Parks Without Borders campaign to beautify the city’s public spaces. The scheme launched in November 2015 with US$50m (€46.8m, £32.8m) in mayoral funding. The public were invited to vote for the parks they would most like to see improved, following the Parks Without Borders design principles – increasing accessibility, opening sight lines, beautifying edges, adding furnishings and
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Prospect Park in Brooklyn is one of the eight parks chosen for a redesign / Ad Meskens
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