It is often said that parks are the lungs of the city. But just as parks help clean the air and cool the city, so do an often neglected resource: the thousands of privately owned front and back yards of the city's rowhouses and apartment houses. The tools to green the city are right under our noses — and PlaNYC2030 and most of New York City's citizens are missing them.
An Unknown Urban Forest
While Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC highlights and relies on the substantive and undeniable environmental benefits of publicly owned open space, privately owned public space is barely even on the city radar screen. As environmental concerns move front and center and urban open spaces are increasingly threatened, these back yards suddenly appear to be a valuable resource that we can no longer afford to disregard.
I'm sorry, here in Queens we have no need for this type of land use. Bring on more concrete!