Often thought of as the ultimate urban environment, New York City is actually the greenest city in the country. Over 15% of the
city is parkland, managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks).
With New York City's population projected to top 9.1 million in the next 20 years, the Department of Parks and Recreation is undertaking its greatest period of park building since the 1930s, equipping our green space and streetscapes to accomodate 1 million new residents. This wave of development will be fundamentally shaped by High Performance Landscape Guidelines: 21st Century Parks for NYC a blueprint for sustainable park design, construction, and maintenance produced through a four-year collaboration between the Design Trust and the NYC Parks Department.
Part how-to manual and part advocacy tool, High Performance Landscape Guidelines reflects a paradigm shift in thinking about the park system as vital green infrastructure. This 270-page document will govern future activity in all 29,000 acres of New York City open space, as the Parks Department has adopted best practices in construction, maintenance, material selection and resource management as its new agency standards. From planted traffic islands to urban forests, High Performance Landscape Guidelines promotes cleaner air and water, increased biodiversity, lowered heat island effect, reduced energy usage and, of course, expanded opportunities for relaxation, recreation and environmental education for all New Yorkers.
The third in our trilogy of sustainable design manuals, High Performance Landscape Guidelines has been widely embraced by the local design community, earning accolades from the New York Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects and drawing a record crowd of over 400 people to the publication launch party at the Center for Architecture in January 2011.
The Design Trust's previous publications,High Performance Building Guidelines (1999) and High Performance Infrastructure Guidelines (2005) led directly to the enactment of local laws encourainge high performance construction, and also paved the way for PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg's long-term sustainability plan.