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Old Posted Sep 14, 2019, 7:43 PM
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How to Build a New Park So Its Neighbors Benefit

How to Build a New Park So Its Neighbors Benefit


SEP 11, 2019

By LAURA BLISS

Read More: https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/...y-data/597580/

Quote:
.....

The transformation of a disused elevated-rail segment into one of Manhattan’s most magnetic tourist destinations—and the blueprint for “adaptive reuse” infrastructure projects around the globe—has become a lofty symbol of the ills of gentrification. Although the once-industrial neighborhood of Chelsea was already shifting to higher rents and upscale amenities when the High Line first opened, the elegant “linear park” supercharged those changes, with new upscale developments generating $1 billion in tax revenue in the area, and alienating residents of nearby public housing.

- Sure enough, cities that have followed the High Line’s example are grappling with the effects of gentrification. In Los Angeles, the promise of a revitalized river has put neighborhoods such as Elysian Valley, a diverse, historically working-class community in the real estate spotlight. The median price of a house there jumped by more than 17 percent between 2017 and 2018, more than twice the countywide rate. — In Chicago, property values in the relatively affordable, Latino neighborhoods traversed by a rail-to-trail project known as “the 606” nearly doubled in three years after its groundbreaking in 2013. In Atlanta, the BeltLine has been beset by criticisms that project leaders haven’t paid adequate attention to skyrocketing property values along the 22-mile rail corridor-turned-walking loop.

- All cities hunger for new property-tax revenue. But all of these park projects at some point aspired to provide green space in neighborhoods that historically had little access to it. This pattern of new parks creating housing pressure might lead observers to wonder whether such investments are a good idea, if they threaten to displace the very people they were intended to serve. That tension is again captured in shade-starved L.A., where activists who tried for years to get the city to invest in the river as a public space now fear that the current revitalization effort is a “Trojan horse for gentrification,” as one writer recently put it. — The question for park-makers, and the city leaders who champion them, is whether communities can have their grass-covered cake and eat it too.

- A new joint report by researchers at UCLA and the University of Utah examines this question, surveying “parks-related anti-displacement strategies” (or PRADS) undertaken by 19 U.S. cities where 27 major park developments are underway, including those in the “High Line Network,” a coalition of projects trying to learn from the namesake example. The results are a mixed bag. — “The good news is that stakeholders in about half of the projects we surveyed, including many park advocates and local community organizations, are proposing and actually implementing PRADS,” write Alessandro Rigolon, a professor of city planning at the University of Utah, and Jon Christensen, a professor at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. “The bad news is that the other half of the projects have not taken concrete actions yet.”

- Based on the report’s findings, “greening without gentrification” calls for actions that are common in broader efforts to stabilize changing neighborhoods. For example, since renters tend to be most vulnerable to the effects of rising property values, citywide rent control and anti-eviction measures like those in New York City can be helpful when a big new neighborhood amenity is coming their way, the researchers observed. For current and would-be area homeowners of modest means, foreclosure assistance, homebuyer loans, and even property-tax freezes can be a boon. And citywide ordinances allowing for accessory dwelling units, like those seen in Portland, Los Angeles, and Seattle, can ease housing pressure, as can inclusionary zoning and developer density incentives.

- Other anti-gentrification efforts were more targeted toward the parks themselves, based on the report’s survey for example, the India Basin Shoreline Park project in San Francisco requires that construction and operations jobs for the park be performed by longtime, low-income residents of color. And some cities and nonprofits are establishing community land trusts or dedicating funds to build permanent affordable housing in the vicinities around new parks. — Atlanta is one example, with the city and nonprofit developers working to set aside funding for about 10,000 affordable housing units near the BeltLine. And even before it has broken ground, the 11th Street Bridge Park project in the Anacostia area of Washington, D.C., is considered a standout model of how to develop a park while paying attention to housing, with a land trust, affordable housing investments, small business aid, and other gentrification-fighting features built in from the ground up.

.....



Philadelphia's Rail Park project is transforming an abandoned rail line into an elevated park. The first phase opened last year. Matt Rourke/AP


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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2019, 8:00 PM
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Yes, let's keep areas and neighborhoods as shitty as possible so no one has to move. The entitlement some people feel is really remarkable.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2019, 8:13 PM
llamaorama llamaorama is offline
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My concern is that while cities always have plenty of money to build these 'trophy' parks, actual parks used by citizens seem to be ignored. I'm not saying a major downtown park or one of these high-line or waterfront type projects aren't worthwhile, because there's a benefit to everyone if central city areas become more attractive. Discovery Green in downtown Houston was a slam dunk as far as I'm concerned. Boosting a central area brings in more residents, jobs, and tax revenue.

When is the last time your city or county dedicated a totally new public swimming pool or totally new public ball fields? What about pre-emptively buying up big tracts of rural land ahead of the front lines of suburban growth now while that acreage is still cheap, so in the future it will be protected and available as a natural oasis and amenity? These things are especially absent in areas which are beyond the footprint of the city proper in aging suburbs that were built hastily without much civic infrastructure and are now somewhat run down and neglected.

It's frustrating because a lot of these little things I am talking about should not cost more than a couple million dollars in a city or county with a budget in the billions. We can't stop illegal dumping or trap the stray dogs or give teens summer jobs because that's socialist. The excuse is that we must save money, be fiscally conservative, etc. Then our leaders go put couple million on plaza downtown or add new sofas to the food court at the airport terminal and nobody says anything. In both causes this is like loose change in your car's cupholder relative to the larger budget, so it should be treated as such without double standards.

This is the flip side of having local government which represents millions of people, IMO. On SSP it has been said many times that the problem with village sized local government(think Connecticut or St. Louis metro) is that it gets overrun with NIMBYs who care about their neighborhoods and won't allow major projects for the greater good. But in cities where you have only one or two layers of local government with as many voters as a small European country, smaller scale needs are ignored because the leaders simply cannot focus on anything.

Last edited by llamaorama; Sep 14, 2019 at 8:32 PM.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2019, 3:52 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llamaorama View Post
My concern is that while cities always have plenty of money to build these 'trophy' parks, actual parks used by citizens seem to be ignored. I'm not saying a major downtown park or one of these high-line or waterfront type projects aren't worthwhile, because there's a benefit to everyone if central city areas become more attractive. Discovery Green in downtown Houston was a slam dunk as far as I'm concerned. Boosting a central area brings in more residents, jobs, and tax revenue.

When is the last time your city or county dedicated a totally new public swimming pool or totally new public ball fields? What about pre-emptively buying up big tracts of rural land ahead of the front lines of suburban growth now while that acreage is still cheap, so in the future it will be protected and available as a natural oasis and amenity? These things are especially absent in areas which are beyond the footprint of the city proper in aging suburbs that were built hastily without much civic infrastructure and are now somewhat run down and neglected.

It's frustrating because a lot of these little things I am talking about should not cost more than a couple million dollars in a city or county with a budget in the billions. We can't stop illegal dumping or trap the stray dogs or give teens summer jobs because that's socialist. The excuse is that we must save money, be fiscally conservative, etc. Then our leaders go put couple million on plaza downtown or add new sofas to the food court at the airport terminal and nobody says anything. In both causes this is like loose change in your car's cupholder relative to the larger budget, so it should be treated as such without double standards.

This is the flip side of having local government which represents millions of people, IMO. On SSP it has been said many times that the problem with village sized local government(think Connecticut or St. Louis metro) is that it gets overrun with NIMBYs who care about their neighborhoods and won't allow major projects for the greater good. But in cities where you have only one or two layers of local government with as many voters as a small European country, smaller scale needs are ignored because the leaders simply cannot focus on anything.
I don't think "fiscally conservative" comes to mind when I think of most large American cities lol
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