Really interesting piece on the different design and fundraising approaches that New York and Chicago take.
Originally posted on City Parks Blog:
New York and Chicago are often pitted as rivals with regards to parkland acreage (38,060 acres vs. 11,959 acres, equating to 4.5 and 4.2 acres per 1,000 residents, respectively), and this month was no different. Last week both cities released designs to the community for the next latest and greatest thing in the park world — elevated rail trails — and the designs couldn’t be more different.
New York’s High Line has been generating buzz since before its 2009 opening, and the overwhelming success of its first two phases (there were 3,000,000 visitors in 2011) have kept the public anxiously awaiting the last and final phase. Held up by land ownership issues and fundraising nightmares in a struggling economy, Friends of the High Line scored an amazing win last fall with a record-setting $20 million donation from the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, the single largest donation ever made to a New York City park. The generous gift helped build up the park’s endowment and also paid for the design of the last section.