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Meet Some of New York City's Newest Parks

In a city where density is everything, these park projects make creative use of existing public spaces—and, in some cases, create their own.
March 7, 2021, 5am PST | Diana Ionescu | @aworkoffiction
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Esplanade at Battery Park
Alistair McMillan

From a floating "Little Island" on the Hudson River to a plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge, Michelle Colman lists some of New York City's most exciting new park projects, including a recently opened public park nestled in the middle of a luxury development and the Gansevoort Peninsula, a 5.5-acre green space in the Hudson River Park.

The city's Parks Commissioner, Mitchell J. Silver, praised the creativity of the various park projects. "Every inch of available space in New York is utilized," he said, citing the High Line as a prime example of effective reuse of public space and expressing his goal to expand public spaces "into the fabric of" the city.

One of the more controversial projects on the list, the Marsha P. Johnson State Park, is facing criticism from community members for its plan to install a one-acre concrete slab "covered with a thermoplastic mural printed with rainbow stripes and planted with eight-foot-tall sculptural flowers." Intended as a tribute to Johnson, an LGBTQ civil rights icon "who often wore flowers in her hair," the installation is being criticized as "the opposite of an environmental option" and a poor alternative to green space or actual flower gardens. Another high-profile project, the High Line extension to the recently opened Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station, is the first step in connecting the transit hub to park space and eventually the Hudson River Park.

With spring on the horizon, New Yorkers have some exciting new public spaces to look forward to.

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Published on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Urbanize New York
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