New Park Space Opens Up

It happens so rarely in NYC that when it does, I always get excited.

A whole swath of new park space opened up this past week on the Hudson River Park between Laight Street and Houston Street, just south of Pier 40. Here’s a link to Google Maps which shows the location.

There’s a terrific running/walking section right along the river (just like all the other sections of the Hudson River Park) and there are three tennis courts and a full court basketball court.

But the best part of this section is the greenery between the running path and the west side highway. They did a great job with this section.


I posted some additional photos I took today on Flickr.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. LukeG

    I studied urban economics in school before working for the internets, and I’ve been pretty interested in the economic and social roles that public spaces play for a long time (almost wrote my thesis on it). It turns out that holding land out of private development for use as public space – parks specifically – may actually create a net positive economic impact in some cases, due in large part to the increased local real estate values and stimulated (hyper)local commerce it can foster. This is a pretty tough question and, as far as I know, no one has a definitive answer.I think this idea – that the creation and maintenance of public space can create private wealth – has some interesting applications in and implications for our industry/community. The open source technology folks seem to have figured out a version of it (F/OSS software pushes value up the stack), but I’m not sure that it works identically with the consumer conversation-centric community. I haven’t thought this through yet, but if comments are the conversation, maybe the thread itself is becoming our major public playground. What needs, other than the importance of persistent identity and multi-local conversation integration, does this call into relief?I’d guess that the social role of public spaces seems more important/interesting for most people than the economic angle, but it’s always nice to be able to justify social good with economic analysis.* My tack was that if you can show that wealth can be created through maintaining public space, developers will be more likely to include it when they build. Does this just lead to a lot of apartment buildings with little courtyards, a la websites with basic forums and stick-on “social networking” features? It sure feels like there are a lot of these out there. We’re still trying to figure out how we want to integrate our service with “the social” – or vice versa – in a real and meaningful way. Definitely haven’t figured it out yet (ha but I have wondered about integrating Disqus into non-“blogging” sites & services). I dunno.The park looks great.*(I’m of the perspective that social good and economic value are intrinsically linked, and that “doing the right thing” can often be a compelling strategic advantage, anyway. Addressing this one site or building at a time, though, based on personal instinct, seems unlikely to impel structural change.)

    1. fredwilson

      There is no question that the Hudson River Park has had a tremendous impact on the value of real estate along the river. Its a very big deal

      1. LukeG

        How did/who made it happen?

  2. Martin

    I am coming to the end of an EU project on intergenerational learning (using technology) in public spaces. Public spaces, piazzas and parks have been a key element of building social solidarity, citizenship and creating the environment where consensual and trusting activity like commerce and justice can operate over the history of mankind from the campfire onwards. (Details of this study will be published on – but not yet – a taste on….In this forum we might believe that the intersection of journeys and minds now happens on the bit stream – but Fred’s recent adventures and the abundance of “meets” and “coffee” seem to indicate that civic society does need what are sometimes called “third places” – not work, not home.I sit bootstrapping in the wilds of northwest Wales and I am well aware that this limits my networking potential. On the other hand nature has done for me what the good Landburgurs of Gotham have done for the river Hudson.

  3. IrishBill

    There’s also a great looking new pocket park ready for it’s opening across from Fairway at 12th Ave and 132nd. I’ve been watching the progress here every time I exit the HH at the 125th Street ramp. Coupled with Columbia’s just starting rejuvenation of the area it is going to make this a very pleasant ‘destination’. The new park has piers out over the water; I understand there is going to be a ferry service (Water Taxi ? ) stopping here, and you’ll be also able to use this as an easy kayak entry point to the Hudson. On a side note, my daughter and i took the ferry service to Ikea from Pier 11 last weekend; what a great 15 minute trip thru NYC harbor history. And it’s free………

    1. fredwilson

      For most of the 19th and 20th century NY’s waterways were industrialized.Now we are taking them back and its a wonderful thing!

      1. gregorylent

        how do the elliason waterfalls look?

        1. fredwilson

          AwesomeBut I liked his SF Moma exhibit even better

  4. Toffer

    That new zen walk way garden area is awesome. I roller bladed by there two nights ago and was blown away that its all done. That basketball court looks amazing.Next project – the east side – its a mess below the 14th street area and I don’t recommend trying to roller blade down there. Would be sooooo cool if there was a connected, properly paved bike path around all of Manahattan.

    1. fredwilson

      I do the loop around manhattan regularly and you are rightThe lower east river park is awful