Park Formulas do More Harm Than Good

Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land, believes that formulas for how much parkland cities and neighborhoods cause more harm than good.

Harnik, interviewed by Kaid Benfield on the release of his new book Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities (Island Press, 2010), believes that parks should be approached 'with a process rather than a standard.'

Benfield writes, "The elements of a good process include taking stock of current conditions, involving the public, assessing costs and benefits, a budget and timeline, an implementation assessment, and so on. Quantitative data are relevant (e.g., population density is the single most important factor in assessing park needs; spending per capita is more revealing than acreage per capita) but never dispositive."

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