The next gen of Central Parks are on their way

Not only are urban dwellers in select cities across the country about to enjoy their own Central Park, but ones that are even larger than New York’s 843-acre treasure, as reported in USA Today:

Staten Island, New York (pictured) – 2200 acres on what is currently the Fresh Kills landfill. You can’t ask for a better transformation than that, though let’s hope they don’t call it Fresh Kills Park. However, think of all the jokes…

Memphis, TNShelby Farms Park is being planned on a 4500-acre former prison farm.

AtlantaThe Beltline will connect 1400 acres on 13 sites by walking trails, trolleys and existing parkland.

Orange County, CAOrange County Great Park will be located on 1347 acres of a former military air base, plus another 1000-acre wilderness area.

Birmingham, ALRed Mountain Park is a 1100-acre tract atop Red Mountain generously sold to a land trust by U.S. Steel for $7 million. It’s valued at more than $16 million.

What’s amazing about this trend is that most of the country’s large urban parks were created in the 19th or early 20th century when land was much less scarce. The reasons?

– Our present environmental concerns and the rising green movement;
– The revitalizing impact of park-side real estate;
– Health-conscious people moving back to cities;
– Vacant industrial land from our industrial to information economy shift.

Looking forward to profiling these parks as they come to fruition.

Thanks to Erin Caricofe for the reference!