How New Yorkers Saved Their Public Spaces

Laura Vanderkam tells of a not-too-distant past where New York's parks and public places were in disarray, and it took public-private partnerships to bring them back to their former glory (and maybe better).

August 22, 2011, 6:00 AM PDT

By Tim Halbur


Vanderkam says that cities all over the country "...are trying to replicate the success that New York's public-private partnerships have achieved." Looking in particular at Central Park, she considers how far the park has come since the 1970s:

"[P]erhaps the most amazing thing about Central Park is how little tax money goes into maintaining it. Though it is still ultimately the city's responsibility, the park has been managed since the 1980s by the nonprofit Central Park Conservancy, and it relies on private donations for most of its budget. The marriage between the city and the Conservancy has been a fruitful one. Can this model, known as a public-private partnership, restore and invigorate all of New York's green spaces, including neighborhood parks in less affluent areas? "

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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

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This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.