No one thought transforming the world’s largest landfill into a huge urban park would be easy, but the recently renamed Freshkills (all one word) park, on Staten Island, is proving contentious in ways policymakers had never anticipated, Crain’s reported.
Everything from how much space should be public, to who should manage the park, to whether the decisions are being made in Manhattan or on Staten Island, has become controversial, Crain’s said. It will take 30 years and $140 million before the park, the construction of which is following strict environmental guidelines, is completed.
Staten Islanders feel control of the park’s development has been wrested from them.
“When city planners see a 2,200-acre park, they start to salivate about what they can do and how they can use their social engineering,” City Councilman Vincent Ignizio, whose district includes most of the proposed park, formerly Fresh Kills landfill, told Crain’s. “Often we have to check our colleagues in Manhattan and say, ‘This is our borough.'” [Crain’s]