5. The Master Renovation of Van Cortlandt Park
The Van Cortlandt Major Project Plan released by NYC Parks. Photo via The Riverdale Press.
Few people know that the Bronx is the greenest borough of New York City, with the greatest amount of parkland relative to its size. Though Pelham Bay Park in the East Bronx takes the prize as New York City’s largest city-owned park (three times the size of Central Park), and Bronx Park is home to the notable Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden, Van Cortlandt Park has been the subject of a Master Renovation Plan introduced via a conceptual map by the Planning and Parklands Division in October of 2013. The unveiling will be the park’s first undertaking of its kind since 1888.
Led by parks department urban planner Charles Mckinney, the concept is the result of a year’s worth of meeting with neighbors to gather their suggested input regarding the park’s improvement. Though the master plan will span twenty years, it includes numerous upgrades, such as the construction of three pedestrian bridges over highways in the style of Central Park, removing Tibbetts Brook from the sewage system and placing it aboveground so that it becomes a pleasant water feature, and the inclusion of more pedestrian and bike friendly paths. The project is still preliminary, but these proposals will surely mean that Van Cortlandt Park can be rejuvenated at a level akin to Manhattan’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.
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