Friday, May 30th; 6:30 p.m.
Judson Memorial Church (Washington Sq. Park South, entrance on Thompson St.)
Urban parks are becoming our newest endangered species. It has been a 20-year effort by the surrounding community to secure the Brooklyn Bridge Park in an 85-acre strip along 1.5 miles of Brooklyn’s East River waterfront. Yet, it has become an example of the implementation of “parks that pay for themselves,” increased privatization and the further demise of public parks.
Requiring parks to pay their own way is an extension of the relentless cutbacks in public funding for NYC parks in recent decades, from 1.5% of the municipal budget in former years to only 0.4% currently.
Unlike traditional New York City parks, which are administered by the NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is being created by a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corp., a state agency whose primary mission is promotion of economic activity.
Apart from $150 million committed by the city and state for construction, the park will have to generate enough income to pay for ongoing operation and upkeep. The main source, under the approved plan, will be payments from owners of apartments in high-rise housing with 1,200 luxury units that private developers will be allowed to build within the park – a massive intrusion into its narrow swath of green space.
Judi Francis, President, Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund
Roy Sloane, civic activist
Free and open to the public. Wine, cheese and snacks will be served.
Presented by the Sierra Club.