COMPLETE VIDEO – Open Space Dialogues: From Vacant to Vibrant

Jarrett Murphy moderates the respondents’ panel featuring Tony Hillery, Regina Myer and Marlene Pantin. Image Credit: CityLand

On November 19, 2018, New York Law School hosted New Yorkers for Parks for their Open Space Dialogues: From Vacant to VibrantThis installment of the Open Space Dialogues explored the ways New Yorkers have and want to, create nontraditional open spaces in unusual places, from a single lot or tunnel to entire neighborhoods and whole islands. The event was kicked off by Center for New York City Law Associate Director Brian Kaszuba, who introduced New Yorkers for Parks Executive Director Lynn Kelly. Kelly welcomed the speakers and introduced the topic. 

The first three speakers gave presentations about their work. Bill LoSasso, as the Director of GreenThumb, leads the largest community gardening program in the United States. LoSasso discussed the importance of community gardens for resilience and protection of our communities as people are becoming more conscious about the food they consume. Following his remarks, Michael Samuelian, the President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island spoke about the efforts to redevelop Governors Island into a year-long public space and its ongoing redevelopment. Later, Dan Barasch, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Lowline, spoke about using new technology to be creative in developing park space in unconventional places.


Lynn Kelly delivers opening remarks at Open Space Dialogues: From Vacant to Vibrant. Image Credit: CityLand

Following the presentations, Jarrett Murphy, the Executive Editor of City Limits moderated a panel featuring three respondents. Tony Hillery, the Founder and Executive Director of Harlem Grown, spoke about the importance of community gardens as spaces for youth to learn about nutrition and allows children to participate in the improvement of their communities. Regina Myer, the President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, spoke about the challenges in getting funding for the ongoing maintenance of park space along the Brooklyn waterfront. Marlene Pantin, the President and Founder of the Red Hook Conservancy, spoke about the dangers of relying on private investment to preserve parks and the necessity of holding local government accountable for public spaces.


Lynn Kelly delivered closing remarks and thanked the panelists for such a vibrant discussion. The next New Yorkers for Parks Open Space Dialogue will be January 9, 2019 at New York Law School focusing on the connection between open space and health, active and passive recreation areas, and how city agencies provide for these spaces.







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