Shortly after the New York City Parks Department announced a plan to execute major renovations to eight public parks, an investigation by The New York Times indicates that city parks are over capacity.
The most popular parks in the Boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn are experiencing a higher volume of daily visitors, and this is a trend that has been on the rise over the last few summers.
Population growth and greater awareness about the benefits of staying active in the outdoors are causing an overflow of visitors to New York City parks. In the case of the iconic Central Park, one of the most celebrated examples of suburban planning in the world, will welcome more than 40 million visitors in 2016.
Another crowded space is the picturesque Brooklyn Bridge Park, which last year received visitors in excess of 127,000. Climate change means hotter summers, which in New York City results in packed swimming pools. One example is the McCarren Pool, located in the trendy Williamsburg district, where more than 150,000 visitors cooled off last year.
The NYC Parks Department is set to inject $40 million in improvements over the next couple of years. Prospect Park in Brooklyn, for example, will get new benches and trailers. Furthermore, there is plan to extend Prospect Park’s sidewalks so that they connect with the neighborhood; this is bound to boost real estate values.
Other efforts to alleviate current conditions at the parks is to enlist the help of visitors to clean up and to volunteer in renovation projects.