Toward a Useful Teaching Strategy: City Parks Partnerships

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Last month the City Parks Alliance (CPA) held a new workshop, a pilot effort, in a concerted effort to discover a teaching strategy for helping park professionals learn and understand partnerships and collaboration. Just over twenty participants attended the day-long event held at Augustus Hawken Park in Los Angeles, supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. …

Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece

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Susan Rademacher, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Curator, has written a new book on Pittsburgh’s Mellon Square, its history and its recent rehabilitation by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy which, at first glance, is a paean to great landscape design. It is a jewel of an example of how a small public space when designed right can have …

Parks, Philanthropy and Equity – New York’s Temporary Truce

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A few weeks ago, Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council passed a new budget that adds $15.5 million to the Parks Department budget. The money, for the most part, is targeted to small neighborhood parks for maintenance and capital projects. The budget includes $5 million for hiring 75 additional parks enforcement patrol …

Met Branch Trail

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Urban Trails, Neighborhood Partnerships: DC’s Met Branch Trail Abandoned rail lines running through city neighborhoods can be the perfect solution for creating a park in a high density city with little other available real estate. Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC) has nearly a thirty year history of providing leadership in the creation of over 20,000 …

Community-led Partnerships – Cully Park

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Community-led Park Partnerships – It’s Not Just the Money The Cully neighborhood is considered the most “parks-deficient” neighborhood in Portland. Citywide, 40 percent of residents live within a quarter-mile of a park. In Cully, only 24 percent do, with almost 23 percent of Cully neighborhood children living in poverty. For over twenty years, Cully neighborhood …

Casting a Broader Net for P3 Lessons

Lately I’ve been reading about the growing number of for-profit companies offering their service to local governments to manage certain of their agency functions. Since the 1980s when outsourcing became popular, local governments hoping to create cost efficiencies have turned over many of their service needs to private contractors – waste collection, landscaping, IT and …

Breakthrough Public Private Partnerships – The Work of New Yorkers for Parks, Part 2

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This blog continues from last week on the work of New Yorkers for Parks and public private partnerships, gathered through an interview with outgoing Executive Director Holly Leicht. In 2012 NY4P undertook a detailed analysis of the growing number of private park conservancies in New York City, closely scrutinizing the 25 legal agreements between conservancies and the Parks Department.  The result …

Breakthrough Public Private Partnerships – The Work of New Yorkers for Parks, Part 1

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Executive Director Holly Leicht’s last day with New Yorkers for Parks was January 10.  She has been appointed by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to serve as Regional Administrator of HUD Region II, which comprises New York and New Jersey. In her new role, Leicht will be instrumental in carrying out ongoing Hurricane …

Balancing the Private in a Public Private Partnership – Orange County Great Park

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Recently I talked with Mike Ellzey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Great Park Corporation, the 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit organization charged with the design, construction, and maintenance of the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. We spoke soon after the city struck a new deal with the project’s related housing developer …

Mexico City Parks Revival – Part 2

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Mexico City Parks Revival: Partnerships in Action Part 2 Downtown Mexico City, with one of the world’s largest collection of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century architecture, is working hard to re-connect its buildings and parks with pedestrians. When our group of City Park Alliance board members traveled to the city in October, we headed downtown after our …