betacity


your city parks
November 22, 2015, 3:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

From the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation:

NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 550 tennis courts, 66 public pools, 48 recreational facilities, 17 nature centers, 13 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 650,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.

8.4 million people live in New York City (2013 census). Here is the per capita breakdown:

8.4 m  / 29,000 acres of parkland = 289 people per acre of parkland

8.4 m  / 800 athletic fields = 10,500 people per field

8.4 m  / 1,000 playgrounds = 8,400 people per playground

8.4 m  / 550 tennis courts = 15,273 tennis players per court

8.4 m  / 66 public pools = 127,273 swimmers per pool

8.4 m  / 48 recreational facilities = 175,000 people per rec center

8.4 m  / 17 nature centers = 494,118 nature lovers per nature center

8.4 m  / 13 golf courses = 646,154 golfers per course

8.4 m  / 14 miles of beach = 600,000 beach lovers per mile of beach

8.4 m  / 1,200 monuments = 7,000 civilians per monument

8.4 m  / 23 historic house museums = 365,217 history buff per museum

8.4 m  / 650,000 street trees = 13 trees per resident

Of course not 100% of the populace is interested in each of these institutions and facilities, but these numbers reflect two generations of disinvestment in all things public.



rec centers by the numbers
May 18, 2014, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Cities | Tags: ,

Displaying 20140512_165047.jpgHere is a NYC Parks and Recreation Centers sign boasting about the city’s facilities. I will never complain about NYC Rec facilities themselves – they are affordable and I love the pools at Chelsea, Metropolitan and 54th Street. However, this sign is laughable when you consider New York is a city of 8.4 million people. Let’s look at the numbers and break them down per capita.

35 Recreation Centers: that’s one center per 240,000 people.

12 Indoor Pools: one pool per 700,000 people.

21 Basketball Courts: one basketball court per 400,000 people.

1100 Cardio and Strength Machines: one machine per 7,636 people.

100+ Fitness Classes: 84,000 people in each fitness class.

Sounds crowded, no?

I think New York should improve these ratios, making sure to keep the price low. There are arguments for and against. It will cost too much, taxes will go up, private clubs are cleaner and better status indicators. It’s good for preventative health and will reduce health costs, it improves quality of life and will attract – ha ha – the creative class who will save us. There’s another argument, that recreation enhances human dignity and life and is an integral part of civic participation.



highway that got nowhere
November 12, 2013, 4:29 pm
Filed under: Cities, Transit | Tags: ,

Cross-section of a failed Robert Moses proposal to link East River with the Hudson via an enclosed elevated highway. The triangular covering of the highway would be used for housing and retail.

via The Bowery Boys



Cities in Focus | New York City | Embarq Network
July 6, 2011, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Cities, Transit | Tags: ,

New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Department of Transportation are on a mission to make the Big Apple the “greatest, greenest big city in the world” by ramping up bicycle infrastructure across the city, introducing bus rapid transit to the Bronx, and pedestrianizing Times Square, among other bold transportation initiatives.



turf wars
June 24, 2011, 1:51 pm
Filed under: betaCITY, fear, Ghettos | Tags: , ,

From Lapham’s Quarterly