NYers 4 Parks: Open Space Dialogues: From Vacant to Vibrant

Jarrett Murphy of City Limits moderating the discussion

On Monday (November 19) NYers4Parks invited an array of open space leaders to talk about what, in their view, it means to be a public open space in NYC. Next Open Space dialogue (see below)



New York City is a metropolis that excels in reinvention, and that’s true for land as well. New Yorkers want – and deserve – local open spaces, and creative solutions exist to make vibrancy out of vacancy. This installment of the Open Space Dialogues explores the ways New Yorkers have, and want to, create nontraditional open spaces in unusual places, from a single lot or tunnel to entire neighborhoods and whole islands.”




It was a wide ranging discussion focused on how do you keep public spaces truly public, deal with unequal resources, beautify without gentrifying and serve the broader public without discounting the real needs of the neighborhood that the open space is sited in.

The best advertisement to potential volunteers was offered up by both Bill LoSasso (GreenThumb Director) and Jarrett Murphy (Executive Director of CityLimits): Both met their current partners while volunteering in a NYC Park!

Moderated by

Jarrett Murphy, Executive Editor & Publisher, City Limits



Bill LoSasso, Director of GreenThumb, NYC Parks

Dan Barasch, Co-Founder & Executive Director, The Lowline

Michael Samuelian, President & CEO, The Trust for Governors Island


Bill LoSasso of GreenThumb with images of what the community garden movement was faced with during in the abandoned communities of NYC.



Tom Hillery, Founder & Executive Director, Harlem Grown

Regina Myer, President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

Marlene Pantin, President, Red Hook Conservancy


Tony Hiller of Harlem Grown: “We are from Harvard to Homeless” – they feed the neighborhood with volunteers, residents and young people from the community.



To continue the conversation:

Next Open Space Dialogue: the intersection of parks & health Wednesday, January 9th

More questions answered on Check CityLimits next week.

To Subscribe to NY4P monthly e-newsletter.



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