In response to the growing demand for urban greenspace, cities around the nation on working on plans for large new parks -- rivaling the urban park boom during the 19th or early 20th century.
"The housing market is tanking, but one kind of real estate is gaining value in major U.S. cities: parkland.
After years of infighting over what to do with the few remaining areas of open space in metropolitan areas, several communities are creating huge urban parks - several times the size of New York's 843-acre Central Park.
"We grew so rapidly in the '80s and '90s in the rate we were consuming land, people did become alarmed," says David Goldberg, spokesman for Smart Growth America, a national coalition promoting green space. "This desire for parkland and capitalizing on natural assets is really taking hold."
It is spurred by several factors, including mounting environmental concerns, improved property values for park-side real estate, increased demand for green space from health-conscious people moving back to cities and a greater availability of vacant industrial land.
The parks development comes despite troubled public finances in many metro areas because of the housing and credit crunch."