Whose Park Is It Anyway?

Anti-Bush protestors are being denied permits to stage rallies in Central Park.
September 2, 2004, 6am PDT | Zvi Leve
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"In the fierce debate of the past weeks and months over whether more than 200,000 anti-Republican protesters should be allowed to congregate en masse on the park's Great Lawn, the poetic language used to describe the park suggested, though never quite stated, an underlying rift." Who decides what is the proper use of a public space? When parks are maintained by non-profit conservancies, who sets the priorities? "We're on a slippery slope when we start saying that the rights of grass trump the rights of the people to protest" said Bill Perkins, a city councilman from Harlem. Fred Kent, the president of Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit organization based in Greenwich Village, fears "a growing influence of transplanted affluent suburbanites over park priorities." But "conflicting visions of how the park should be used, and who it should benefit, are age-old, seesawing over time," said Roy Rosenzweig, an author of "The Park and the People: A History of Central Park."

Thanks to Zvi Leve

Full Story:
Published on Sunday, August 29, 2004 in The New York Times
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email