New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced his planned collaboration with the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) to develop and build new community spaces.
These plans include a $23 million mayoral investment which will fund a pilot program to develop open spaces – including new playgrounds – across Queens, the Bronx and Brooklyn.
“New York City’s parks, playgrounds, and open spaces aren’t luxuries, but necessities — playing a critical role to build community and nurturing our physical, mental, and emotional health,” said Mayor Adams during the announcement Sept. 14. “This investment in NYCHA’s playgrounds and open spaces is a down payment on our city’s future that will pay dividends for generations to come.”
Locations for open space areas were determined after NYCHA and NYC Parks met with residents at Woodside, Pomonok, Redfern, Watson, Sotomayor, and Kingsborough Houses who helped officials determine what kinds of spaces were needed in certain neighborhoods.
“Providing accessible open spaces that connect NYCHA residents to outdoor activity and recreation is essential to improving the quality of life for our campuses,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Greg Russ. “Today’s exciting partnership is made possible through the support of the mayor’s office and the capacity of NYC Parks, and is in keeping with the Authority’s Connected Communities initiative, which engages in robust agency partnerships and resident-focused input to increase green space equity and integrate resilience in our neighborhoods.”
As part of this new partnership, NYC Parks will continue to maintain and operate open spaces to ensure community members have constant and safe access to them.
“All New Yorkers deserve to have high-quality parks that are just a short walk away from their homes,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “We are so proud of our partnership with NYCHA to transform underutilized areas under their jurisdiction into thriving public amenities, and grateful for the hundreds of NYCHA tenants and community members who came out to our input meetings and shared with us their dreams for these spaces.”
This collaboration is a continuation of Mayor Adams’ “Walk to a Park” initiative focuses on increasing city access to parks, concentrating on areas throughout the city that are historically underserved and underfunded.
“Open air, green grass, and a place to play is vital for our children. We owe all the children of this city a future where they are healthy and well adjusted, putting them on a track to success,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “Park and recreational space also gives our seniors a place to relax after a lifetime of hard work. My district is blessed with Forest Park, where everyone experiences this multitude of benefits. We will now give this same gift to thousands of NYCHA residents by revitalizing 125,000 square feet of open space in our public housing. Today, we are taking a huge step forward in meeting Mayor Adams’ worthy goal of all New Yorkers to be within walking distance of a park.”