Magazine article American Forests

Urban Park Surge

Magazine article American Forests

Urban Park Surge

Article excerpt

USA Today reports that, despite continually falling values in the housing market, urban parkland has gained major real estate value over the past several years. The jump in value is attributed to several factors, including concern for the environment, public health, increased value for real estate adjacent to the park, and an increased availability of vacant land.

We are used to mentions of New York's Central Park, but we will soon be seeing parks like this in such bustling cities as Orange County, Memphis, Atlanta, Staten Island and Birmingham. These parks range in size from 1,100 acres to 4,500 acres. In some cases, the ideas for the parks were met with skepticism or outright opposition from citizens, some of whom would prefer to see the land put to residential or commercial use. County officials, however, arecertain that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Many of these parks come from rather interesting backgrounds, being built on land of varied former uses. …

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