Dossier: Paisatges sonors - Observatori del Paisatge

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en la prensa

3 Noviembre 2007

Saving the park

DOUGLAS BLONSKY

The New York Post (Estados Unidos) [Crónica]

Foto

An island of peace and tranquility: Lunchtime in Central Park.

Mayor Bloomberg has rightly won praise for his PlaNYC 2030 - a blueprint for a greener and growing New York. But today's urban environmental conscience can be traced back to the revival of Central Park.

It's easy to forget what neglect had once done to the park. Today, it's an 843-acre oasis - but back in 1980, years of poor management and inadequate maintenance had turned a masterpiece of landscape architecture into a virtual dustbowl by day and a danger zone by night.

That's when a small group of visionary citizens and public officials, working with the Koch administration, stepped in to create the Central Park Conservancy - a public-private partnership with the mission to reverse decades of decline and restore the park to its current splendor.

Twenty-seven years later, that partnership has succeeded well beyond anyone's wildest dreams, producing a rejuvenated park that is both the pride and soul of the city. The city affirmed its confidence in the Conservancy by awarding it a formal contract for the park's day-to-day care in 1998, and renewing it last year.

To undo the neglect and despair of the 1960s and 1970s, the Conservancy instituted many new management practices, one being a revolutionary new zone-management system. We divided the park into 49 zones - and started holding each park supervisor and uniformed gardener accountable for the condition of his or her zone.

This system is directly responsible for improvements in cleanliness and productivity throughout the park - and also fosters a sense of ownership and pride among the gardeners as well as the volunteers assigned to each zone.

Other new policies dramatically raised the standard of management. Long before "quality of life" became a standard term in city government, we focused on small but telling details.

Graffiti doesn't last 24 hours in Central Park; visible litter gets carted off by 9 each morning and throughout the day. Our workers empty trash receptacles daily (at least) and maintain lawns with tremendous care. Broken benches and playground equipment get fixed on the spot.

 

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