Report Funded by Stavros Niarchos Foundation Shows Many Aging NYC Parks Have Infrastructure Problems
New York may be known as a concrete jungle, but throughout its five boroughs, there are thousands of parks, playgrounds, and other recreational facilities. They vary in shape and size—as well as intended uses—but these spots are an invaluable resource for New Yorkers. But parks require maintenance and upkeep—and according to a new, somewhat damning report, “serious cracks are showing” in many of the green spaces maintained by the city.
The 53-page report, released by the Center for an Urban Future, found that the average NYC park is 73 years old. (The oldest parks in each borough are Bowling Green in Manhattan, Commodore Bark Park in Brooklyn, Drew Playground in the Bronx, Daniel Beard Mall in Queens, and Veterans Park in Staten Island.) Many of these spaces are feeling the effects of old age, but maintenance is being neglected where it’s needed the most, resulting in infrastructural problems.
“New York City was blessed with having a tremendous program of construction during the Works Progress Administration,” Adrian Benepe, who headed up the Parks Department under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, says in the report’s introduction. “But all of those structures—bridges, highways, parks, pools—they’re all nearing the end of their natural life. So I’d say a very, very big bill is coming due, in the billions.”
Indeed, the study estimates that in order to bring the city’s parks into a state of good repair, an unprecedented investment of close to $6 billion would be needed...