Vision 3 Goal

Parks & Natural Resources

Artboard 6

Parks and open spaces are essential resources that provide a respite from the density and intensity of urban life. Beyond their significant public health and environmental benefits, these quintessentially democratic spaces also promote civic and cultural engagement and strengthen social bonds that make for a more vibrant, cohesive city. NYC Parks has taken notable strides in making the City’s parks system more equitable and accessible, with targeted investments to under-resourced parks and a steady increase in the percent of New Yorkers living within walking distance to a park. NYC Parks will also continue to focus on enhancing neighborhood access and connectivity, and on caring for and protecting the city’s trees and green spaces.

IndicatorLatest DataPrevious Data
Increase percent of New Yorkers living within walking distance to a park from 79.5 percent to 85 percent by 203081.5%

Improved parks in high-need neighborhoods

Launched in 2014 and expanded in 2015 and 2017, the Community Parks Initiative has invested over $300 million in targeted improvements and renovations for high-need neighborhood parks and playgrounds located in growing, high poverty neighborhoods. Through the Community Parks Initiative, NYC Parks has committed to major capital investment at 67 sites, completed targeted improvements at 111 parks, and served more than 1.5 million youth through expanded summer programs. Recognizing that local residents know best what’s most useful to them, NYC Parks staff worked closely with over 2,600 New Yorkers to tailor park renovations to neighborhood needs. NYC Parks has opened 18 newly reconstructed parks and an additional 12 sites will open by the summer of 2018.

Completed designs to make parks more open and welcoming

In 2015, NYC Parks launched a new strategy to improve open spaces through Parks Without Borders, a design approach that addresses park entrances and boundaries, including fences, gates, and plazas. With input from thousands of New Yorkers, NYC Parks selected eight showcase projects to receive a combined $40 million in capital funds to realize the Parks Without Borders vision: making parks more welcoming and accessible by extending them into communities. In 2017, NYC Parks finalized designs for the eight showcase projects and continued to integrate the Parks Without Borders approach into ongoing projects.

Planted over 620,000 trees and over 5 million flowers, mapped 666,134 street trees

NYC Parks continues its greening of New York City, transforming the landscape with new street trees, new trees in parks and natural areas, and through the installation of green infrastructure projects citywide. Since 2014, NYC Parks has planted over 620,000 trees and more than 5 million flowers. NYC Parks also completed a third census of street trees, working with 2,241 volunteers to survey and map 666,134 street trees—now searchable on the NYC Parks Street Tree Map, a publicly available interactive online map of the City’s street tree inventory. Map users can track stewardship as well as submit tree updates and service requests. The city now has over 2.5 million trees in parks and on sidewalks across the five boroughs. All these investments offer a variety of benefits—from energy reduction and improved air quality to providing a more sustainable environment for New Yorkers in years to come.