The public health benefits of urban parks are well-documented. Did you know that studies have shown urban green space can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and asthma, while improving mental health and quality of sleep and even increasing birth weight? And parks naturally support nature-based solutions to mitigate stormwater flooding, cool and clean our air, support biodiversity and even sequester carbon.
Our communities in Lower Manhattan are already experiencing the effects of climate change and environmental stress firsthand - our neighborhood has been named an Environmental Justice Area for good reason. Gotham Park aims to maximize the benefits nature can provide both to our community’s mental and physical health and to NYC’s climate resilience. Rather than contributing to the problem, Gotham Park will be at the forefront of the solution, and we will share with others what we learn along the way.
The sun is always radiating free energy- we plan to harness it, utilizing solar panels for energy collection, weather protection and as an educational opportunity - because that's just common sense.
A permeable ground plane that combines soil health principles with engineered solutions is the future of urban resilience. We plan to integrate flexible, beautiful, pervious recreation surfaces with lush garden vegetation and bioswales to aid in stormwater management and bridge runoff filtration, while also naturally delineating spatial separations for different uses.
Permaculture principles teach the value of environmental stewardship and conserving our natural resources - not only will we capture and infiltrate stormwater through our park’s planted areas, but we will also incorporate greywater recapture and rainwater collection into our irrigation systems and other non potable uses so that no water goes to waste.
Connecting greenways across urban environments along which migrating birds and pollinators can find food is crucial to their survival. New York City is directly along the endangered monarch butterfly’s migration route. We will plant a diversity of native species of trees and plants to support the local ecology and increase resilience to pests.
We commit to minimizing our landfill waste by encouraging the reusable over the disposable, hosting community swaps, and recycling or composting unavoidable waste to the extent possible. A robust composting program will be essential not only to reducing our methane emissions from waste, but also to maintaining the health of our gardens.
In 2023, we are working with our neighboring high school and an incredible team of community stakeholders and experts to create Grass Roots Planters (GRooPs) for our park.