BUILDING BRIDGES: A COMMUNITY-BASED STEWARDSHIP STUDY FOR AN EQUITABLE EAST RIVER PARK

The long-term maintenance of parks is a challenge in New York City, just as in many other cities around the world. To address shortages in funding and opportunities for enhancements, New York City has a history of employing the “Conservancy” model, which typically takes the form of a non-profit institution that contracts with the NYC Parks Department to operate certain parks and open spaces. This formula has led to beloved new recreational spaces such as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Governors Island, and the Highline, and sustains older spaces such as Central Park, and the Bronx Zoo, through capture of revenue and through fundraising of private and philanthropic donations to maintain the parks. While effective in maintaining quality open space, these models, often in practice and as perceived by local communities, have removed accountability and responsibilities from government, promoting exclusivity in uses, and containing amenities that may lack affordability to adjacent communities. View the report on how to create an equitable conservancy for East River Park here.

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