In 2001, the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) Natural Resources Group created the Forever Wild Program to protect nearly 9,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and meadows citywide. Although these areas were set aside over a decade ago, we have little systematic evidence about how park visitors view, use, and value parks with these resources. In 2013, an interdisciplinary team of scientists and natural resource managers at the New York City Urban Field Station embarked on a study to investigate the social dimensions and value of public green space in New York City. This study, a Citywide Social Assessment of New York City Parks and Natural Areas, explores approximately 9,000 acres of New York City parks in an effort to better understand the social meaning of these green spaces. Better understanding how urban parks are used and valued can provide insight into how all parks can best serve visitors in a rapidly changing environment.
Auyeung, D.S. Novem; Campbell, Lindsay K.; Johnson, Michelle; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Svendsen, Erika. 2016. Reading the landscape: citywide social assessment of New York City parks and natural areas in 2013-2014. Social Assessment White Paper No. 2. New York, NY: New York Department of Parks and Recreation. 69 p.