Don’t miss our special Brown Bag Lunch tomorrow at SvR featuring former Parks Superintendent Ken Bounds. Bounds will join us at noon to present the Seattle Parks Foundation’s Sustaining Seattle’s Parks report, including the new Metropolitan Parks District solution proposal to long range operations and maintenance challenges.

Reminder: special location!

SvR Design, 1205 Second Avenue

As we’ve seen, parks can drive economic development, enriching a community both financially and aesthetically. And, there’s been some more great recent commentary and content in the urbanist interwebs looking at the value of, and support schemes for, urban green investments.

A recent Next American City post took a look at the value of urban trees, something we have discussed here and at a Brown Bag lunch over the summer, with a round up of various benefits of more mature trees compared to new plantings (as we know, even when controlled for socioeconomic conditions, well-treed neighborhoods experience less crime than their treeless peers) and the post includes the particularly impressive stat on air quality that tree trunk size 10 times larger produces an ecological benefit that is 70 times larger than a younger sapling.

A 2002 study by David Nowak, with the USDA Forest Service, examined how trees affect local and regional air quality by altering the atmosphere of urban environments. What he found was that large, healthy trees greater than 77 centimeters (30 inches) in diameter remove 70 times more air pollution annually than small, healthy trees less than eight centimeters (three inches) in diameter… (Keep Reading and be sure to click through to Next American City to see the impressive chart on the stark performance comparison)

The Architect’s Newspaper recently looked at the various ways New York City is considering funding the operations and maintenance of a parks system in an extraordinary phase of growth:

“There is no one model that works; it’s not one size fits all. There can only be one Central Park Conservancy,” said Benepe. The parks commissioner advocates for entrepreneurship, saying that funding alliances arise organically to creatively meet the needs and conditions of each park. In the city’s recent park projects, that spirit has had a decidedly development-friendly bent. Brooklyn Bridge Park and Hudson River Park, both waterfront sites with complex programs incorporating recreation, leisure, and environmental remediation, have gone the way of rents, not altruism…

Closer to Seattle, one city is considering a levy to infuse their parks with much needed funds:

Proposition 2, the parks maintenance, restoration, and enhancement levy, will raise $2.35 million annually in dedicated funding to restore parks maintenance, provide lifeguards at Houghton, Waverly, and Juanita beaches, and continue forest and habitat restoration and stewardship through the Green Kirkland volunteer program… (via For Kirkland supports dedicated funding to take care of city | Letter – Kirkland Reporter)

What is the best path forward for Seattle? Check out the Seattle Parks Foundation’s recent report and join us to learn more about the Metropolitan Parks District proposal, tomorrow at noon at SvR. Bring your lunch, and your insightful questions!

For Nate it was a summer in New York City that sparked a passion for urban planning, livability, development and transportation issues. He has worked for housing and health care non-profits, mortgage and commercial real estate companies, hospitality and aviation brands as well as transit lines and other government agencies. Nate is a Great City board member.