Search results for "Mitchell J. Silver"
The River Delivers
$40 million expansion of Bronx River Greenway breaks ground
Community Parks Initiative
Nine more NYC parks slated to be fully rebuilt
Art in the Park
NYC Parks to join $200K public art partnership with UNIQLO
The redesigned McCarren Park Skatepark in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, opened June 21, just in time for the official annual holiday known as Go Skateboarding Day. The skatepark was originally constructed behind the massive McCarren Park Pool, which itself reopened in 2012 after a $50 million renovation. The pool was one of 11 built in the summer of 1936 by Works Progress Administration laborers under Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and Robert Moses.
The skatepark was designed and constructed within its original footprint by California Skateparks. The company is responsible for many of the city’s most popular skating venues, including the ones at Pier 62, in Tribeca, and underneath the Manhattan Bridge on the Lower East Side.
The redesign adds poured concrete ramps and quarter pipes, and also replaces the existing rails and benches. A key to a successful skatepark design is the ability for skaters to naturally create a “line” between objects for a succession of tricks. The designers collaborated with both professional skateboarders and members of the community, who have been using the park since its initial opening in 2009.
Nike Skateboarding funded the $315,000 for design and construction and threw a block party to celebrate the opening. “The revamped McCarren skatepark is an exciting new addition to this magnificent, busy park,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver in a statement. McCarren Skatepark Bayard and Lorimer Streets, Brooklyn, NY Designer: California Skateparks
8 Parks, $50 Million in Funding
NYC’s eight Parks Without Borders winners announced
- Faber Park (Staten Island)
- Prospect Park (Brooklyn)
- Fort Greene Park (Brooklyn)
- Van Cortlandt Park (Bronx)
- Hugh Grant Circle / Virginia Park and Playground (Bronx)
- Jackie Robinson Park (Manhattan)
- Seward Park (Manhattan)
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens)
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR), its Community Parks Initiative (CPI), and the Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA), has inaugurated the East Harlem Esplanade Project. The scheme aims to completely rebuild the 107th Street Pier while expanding its programming in the process. This all includes a strategy pertaining to reconstruction advocacy, stewardship, and programming best practices for an improved Esplanade along East Harlem, covering East 96th to East 125th streets.
RIPA will provide support in the form of expertise for the management of long-term development, maintenance, programming and resiliency measures along the East Harlem waterfront.
Aimee Boden, RIPA President said, “The Randall’s Island Park Alliance is looking forward to reaching across the river to work with our nearest neighbors, and to helping to plan for and facilitate improved access and long-term resiliency along the East Harlem Esplanade.”
The CPI is currently committed to improving 67 community parks deemed to be "under-funded" and in "densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty."
Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said, “Conservancy partners like the Randall’s Island Park Alliance enhance New York City’s key public spaces with their expertise, resources, and passion. Now, with their generous commitment to create a strategic plan for the East Harlem Esplanade, RIPA is extending its influence to one of our city’s most densely populated communities, and providing expertise that will drive green equity and sustainability for the neighborhood.”
At the moment, RIPA is currently speaking to public agencies, advocacy groups and local stakeholders in order to assemble concerns related to the project while also referencing existing studies to develop the plan.
"East Harlem is a thriving, growing community that deserves world class waterfront access," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "For far too long, our esplanade has been neglected and has fallen into disrepair, which is why the Council has made a priority of allocating millions of dollars in capital funds to address these needs, including the reopening of the 107th Street Pier. Working with community residents and local stakeholders, the East Harlem Esplanade Project will help create a comprehensive plan to fully revitalize this important public space for generations to come."
State Senator José M. Serrano said, "Through the collaborative efforts of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez, the Parks Department and now the Randall's Island Park Alliance we have a dynamic team that will transform the East Harlem portion of the Esplanade into a beautiful piece of parkland. Together we will be able to strengthen the East Harlem Esplanade and give the residents of El Barrio a much needed green space that will create economic growth for the surrounding neighborhood."
Travers Park, in Jackson Heights, Queens, is a standard outer-borough park: Asphalt ball courts, covering less than a square block, are surrounded by black, chain-link fencing that reaches more than halfway up the treeline. Sycamores on the cobblestone lawn divide the park from the sidewalk. An adjacent playground sits on a concrete platform, encircled by a low metal fence, waist-high above the sidewalk. The park’s two entrances at 77th and 78th Streets face each other at mid-block.
A new citizen-driven planning initiative will tear down those fences, making select parks more appealing to the eye and more accessible from the street. With a combined $50 million in funding from OneNYC grants, Parks Without Borders invites New Yorkers to nominate parks that need stronger relationship to surrounding streets, via fewer fences, new entrances, or revived “park-adjacent spaces,” those underused, vestigial public spaces that sit between parks and the street or sidewalk.
Parks figure heavily into the goals of OneNYC, the city’s guiding planning and policy document that evolved out of former Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC. New York has almost 30,000 acres (46.9 square miles) of parkland. A central of goal of PlanNYC was to have every New Yorker live within a ten-minute walk of a park. Building on and broadening that goal, OneNYC includes a mandate to create “thriving neighborhoods that support healthy active lifestyles and [neighborhoods] that have easy access to cultural activities,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.
Tall fences that surround many parks, Silver said, date from the 1930s through the 1970s. With the city skirting bankruptcy in the 1970s, capital funding for parks was limited and maintenance budgets were slashed. Through the 1980s, securing park perimeters to prevent crime and deter vandals prevailed over aesthetic concerns.
Silver emphasizes that Parks Without Borders is a “flexible strategy that can be applied to many situations.” Parks that are particularly prime for improvement, he noted, are surrounded by fences that block views into the park, especially barriers above eye level. Parks with difficult or narrow entrances, or that lack entrances at key locations, are strong candidates too. Additional considerations include a park’s proximity to a busy commercial corridor or public institutions and the number of street trees.
To nominate a park for Parks Without Borders, residents can search for “Parks Without Borders” on nycgovparks.org to access an interactive map. Click on a park and a checklist of potential improvements appears, such as “street furnishings,” “paving,” “fences,” and “activities,” as well as an open-ended comments field. The submissions period began mid-November 2015, and, as of late January 2016, the Parks Department has received around 3,000 entries.
To reach all New Yorkers, especially residents with limited access to the internet, the department will distribute informational flyers at libraries and recreation centers, conduct presentations and workshops at community board forums, and run neighborhood events where, according to Silver, “we will be using a table-top exercise that collects exactly the same feedback as the website does, in a format that is more accessible to those who do not feel comfortable using computers or websites.”
Parks enthusiasts, plan ahead: the department will select eight initial parks for a makeover when the call for submissions ends February 2016.
Dear Mr. President,
Over 250 architects sign open letter to Donald Trump
- We invest in a clean and competitive U.S. economy that is powered by renewable energy through cost-effective and innovative solutions. This creates jobs and lowers the costs of living and doing business.
- We stand up to the influence of special interest money in politics to create a truly level playing field. Subsidies for renewable energy technologies should be equal to the many hidden and costly subsidies that support fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Alternatively, all subsidies across all energy sources should be removed in their entirety.
- We re-affirm America’s commitment to addressing climate change through the continued participation in the historic Paris Climate Agreement.