New York City got a new Parks Commissioner on Friday, just in time for spring. Mayor de Blasio made the official announcement at Seward Park on the Lower East Side and congratulated Mitchell Silver on his new role. Silver will leave his current job as the Chief Planning and Development Officer in Raleigh, North Carolina to step into the new position. Though he was just appointed, the commissioner has already discussed plans to redistribute wealth in the city to create new parks in poorer areas of the five boroughs.
The uber-qualified Silver has an impressive career in urban planning, and was a former head of the American Planning Association, as well as a professor of urban planning at Hunter College, where he received his masters in Urban Planning. Silver’s appointment was well-received by green space advocates thanks to his reputation for having a passion for urban planning that strengthens community development.
The green space advocate will oversee 29,000 acres of parkland spread across the city, from Central Park to small community gardens. Silver has also expressed interest in redistributing some of the funds that are currently used to maintain Central Park, Prospect Park and the High Line. Silver and de Blasio feel that moving even a small fraction of that money towards updating parks in poorer areas could greatly benefit the communities that surround them. The plan, which was initially introduced by Senator Daniel Squadron, would require park conservancies with funds of more than $5 million in their budgets to allocate 20% of their monies to smaller green spaces in need of repairs and upkeep.
Via NY Daily News