Report: How to Fund NYC Parks

A set of 20 creative suggestions for increasing parks revenue.

1 minute read

January 21, 2024, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


View of lake in Central Park, New York City with people in rowboats and bright red and orange fall trees, buildings in background.

f11photo / Adobe Stock

A new report from the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) outlines 20 ways to raise revenue for New York City parks. The report explains that “New York City’s parks maintenance challenges compound deeper infrastructure issues that have only grown over time. The parks system faces at least $685 million in capital needs just to bring existing infrastructure up to a state of good repair, with just 30 percent of those needs either underway or planned over the next three years.”

Meanwhile, some residents still lack adequate access to parks. “While the city has made important progress since 2021, more than 16 percent of New York City residents do not live within a quarter-mile walk of a small park or half-mile of a large park.”

According to a CUF press release, “The ideas—including a new $1 surcharge on tickets sold at stadiums located on parkland; adding 10 new restaurants and destination-worthy concessions in parks across the five boroughs; a fee on gas-powered leaf blowers and landscaping; and a program to monetize organic waste from parks, including turning fallen trees into commercial lumber—provide city leaders with multiple options for establishing dedicated revenue streams for parks at a time when the city’s green spaces are experiencing record usage but also face growing maintenance needs.”

Thursday, January 18, 2024 in Center For An Urban Future

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