Revitalizing Our City with Innovative Parks

For every Central Park in New York City, there are dozens of now “dispirited” places. Why not revitalize our city with some innovative parks?

There is a case -Albert Park.

Albert Park, an 11.5-acre park in downtown San Rafael, California, had fallen into decline by the early 1990’s. Local residents initiated meetings with San Rafael’s Director of Parks and Recreation to discuss these issues and to help the city revitalize the west side of the park.

The city formed the Albert Park Renovation Committee and held public meetings facilitated and guided by the Director of Parks and Recreation to identify the range of park constituents, desired park improvements, and amenities. Committees were formed around distinct planning areas within the new park and different user or interest groups in the community adopted and maintained specific pieces of the park. Each group, in partnership with the city, planned, fund raised, and sought donations in labor and materials from within the community. The committees have proceeded on their own time schedule, guided and facilitated by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Additional park improvement phases are still in the works.

A significant aspect of such park projects is that it gave the community a meaningful chance to work together on something positive. Previously, there may had been divisiveness in the community between homeowners along the city dwellers. Besides, these innovative park projects help revitalize city’s open space and make our city greater and greener.