The Real Deal New York

Manhattan’s East Side starved for open space: report

August 07, 2013 09:30AM

The East Side of Manhattan is facing a drought of open space, with two-thirds of residents unable to walk to a large park, according to a new report seen by the Wall Street Journal.

Development on Manhattan’s West Side has led to a flurry of new parks – such as the High Line — and open spaces, but the East Side’s existing spaces are overburdened and disconnected, the report – commissioned by City Council members Daniel Garodnick and Jessica Lappin – finds.The report comes at a time when East Side residents and the city are making the biggest push in decades to create more open space, including a plan to transform the area’s waterfront into a continuous stretch of open space.

“The reality is that [the East Side] is one of the most underserved communities in the city in terms of the actual amount of open space,” Holly Leicht, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, a nonprofit group that wrote the report, told the Journal.

In Lappin’s district—which includes much of the Upper East Side east of Third Avenue— a mere 13 percent of residents can stroll to a large park. The district has less than half an acre of open space per 1,000 residents, in comparison to the 2.5 acre benchmark that the city uses in its environmental review process.

In Garodnick’s district—which includes Stuyvesant Town and the Upper East Side near Central Park— the situation is even more dire. About 40 percent of residents don’t live within walking distance of a large public park, and the district has less than half an acre of open space per 1,000 residents. [WSJ]  – Hiten Samtani


    Are they serious??? Upper East Siders are unable to “stroll” 5 blocks to Central Park, arguably the greatest urban park in the world? What nonsense is this?

    • DBNYC

      You’re missing the bigger picture. There is a severe lack of green space on the East Side as it is. And why are you targeting exclusively the UES? This is a problem that plagues the entire East Side, from Battery Park to 138th St. The West Side has virtually uninterrupted waterfront green space from Battery Park to the water treatment facility, in some form or another. The East Side has the FDR. That is a disturbing discrepancy. Also, why is it a problem that people would want to add green space? I find your argument entirely baseless.

  • BelleHarborSummer

    Was just on UES at Carl Schurz Park. Crazy move to put a garbage transfer station next to it. Another environmental distater for our City. It really makes one question Quinn and De Blasio’s understanding of the real world for real New Yorkers.