City Parks

I made a whistle stop tour of a few Manhattan parks created by developers in return for additional floor area. That system works well in areas of the city that are attractive to big money, which is why the NYC DOT Plaza Program is so heavily in favour of siting new spaces in lower income areas where developers aren't falling over themselves.

Greenacre Park

I was in Manhattan late afternoon, well after what I assumed would be the busiest time for these spaces - lunchtime. They were still all well occupied and not, as one might assume, exclusively by office workers. I noted the number of elderly people, and the number of people reading.

Clearly then, these spaces are not community driven or bottom up, but they inspire approaches to design (all the ones I visited had a water feature, which as well as providing visual interest, drown out traffic noise substantially) and demonstrate well that the size of an amenity is not proportional to its use or value.

Paley Park

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