Photo of Sheep Meadow in Central Park on May 4, 2020 © 6sqft
Parks and public green space proved to be a lifeline for New Yorkers during the peak of the pandemic, for both their physical and mental wellbeings. But not all parks are created equal, as reports from the city’s Independent Budget Office and the Trust for Public Land found. In many low-income and minority neighborhoods, where cases and rates of death from COVID-19 were experienced disproportionately, residents lacked access to quality green space, especially when space like playgrounds and basketball courts, closed for nearly three months.
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Rimless basketball hoops at Riverside Park and 74th Street on Friday, March 27. Photo © Dana Schulz for 6sqft.
In the recent weeks, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have taken different approaches when it comes to social distancing measures in public spaces, but one thing they’ve agreed on is that basketball games need to stop. In his press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor spoke about the specific problem related to basketball courts and announced that he’d received reports from the Parks Department and the NYPD that 80 courts around the city, out of a total of 1,700, were an ongoing issue. He went on to say that the basketball hoops at these locations would be removed, which they were yesterday.
Rendering of ‘K-flex 2’ courtesy of Public Work
Plans to build a new seven-acre public park under the Kosciuszko Bridge in Greenpoint are moving forward. Last month, the North Brooklyn Parks Alliance unveiled designs for “Under the K,” a linear public space that will feature four distinct spaces and stretch to Newtown Creek. Designed by Toronto-based architecture firm Public Work, the new park will feature access to the waterfront, public art installations, performances, and areas for recreation on land currently vacant.
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Photo by Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via Flickr.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday the opening of the first phase of New York’s newest park–and the largest state park in New York City. Brooklyn’s 407-acre Shirley Chisholm State Park on Jamaica Bay offers hiking, biking, fishing and picnicking under the watch of a colorful mural honoring Chisholm by Brooklyn muralist Danielle Mastrion. Under a second $20 million phase currently being designed and expected to be completed in 2021, the park will include a grand entrance on Fountain Avenue, lawn patios, a patio overlooking Hendrix Creek and pop-up environmental education facilities. A native of the borough, Chisholm, a former representative of the 12th Congressional district in New York for seven terms, was the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968; she ran for President in 1972 as the first African American woman to do so.
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Image: Fort Greene Park Conservancy
The city has announced plans to make eight of the city’s parks more welcoming and integrated into their surrounding neighborhoods, the New York Times reports. According to officials, the green-space face-lifts are part of a plan to improve city parks and part of the larger goal of having 85 percent of New Yorkers living within walking distance of a park.
The parks, chosen by a nomination process that used feedback from residents, include Seward Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Faber Pool and Park on the North Shore of Staten Island, Jackie Robinson Park in northern Manhattan, Van Cortlandt Park and Hugh Grant Circle and Virginia Park in the Bronx, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, and Fort Greene and Prospect Parks in Brooklyn. According to parks commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, the many improvement suggestions the city received were “proof positive of how excited New Yorkers are to increase accessibility and openness in their favorite parks.”
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The NYC parks system gives artists a public canvas for their sculpture and design work, and there are so many great artworks on display this summer. From abstract sculptures to innovative park design, here are just a few of the interesting sculptures and design exhibits you can see in New York City parks this last month of summer.
Find the best public sculptures here