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New York City: Greater and Greener

New York City is the poster child for cities looking to expand green space and transform former abandoned space into recreational areas. From the great historic Central and Prospect Parks to the revitalized Bronx River Greenway to the catalytic High Line Park, New York City has led the way in its commitment to providing parks and green space for all residents.

As the NY Post reports, last year's "Greater and Greener" conference, organized by the City Parks Alliance, included more than 100 sessions and showcased the progress New York has made in the last years.

"I'm excited about the High Line," said Gil Penalosa, a former parks commissioner of Bogota, Colombia, who now runs the 8-80 Cities nonprofit in Toronto and plans to attend next week's conference. "Instead of taking down the rails, the community got together to make a beautiful park."

The conference's goal was to create public awareness of the importance of green spaces beyond the apparent recreational values by engaging leaders from health, science, technology, sociology, planning and design, and policy sectors, and to provide tools to help professionals integrate parks into infrastructure systems.

"More than 65% of the 546,000 trees planted by the city since 2007 have been located in parks scattered across the city. One section of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx has seen the large-scale planting of 5,500 trees and 1,500 shrubs on what was formerly an ash dump."

To read more about the "Greater and Greener" conference go here.