Financing the Future: The Critical Role of Parks in Urban and Metropolitan Infrastructure

Financing the Future: The Critical Role of Parks in Urban and Metropolitan Infrastructure

February 20, 2012

Abstract

Although public parks play a vital role in Americans' health and quality of life, they are currently facing a funding crisis. In response, the Urban Institute, the National Recreation and Park Association, and their partners hosted a roundtable that explored ways to finance urban and metropolitan parks. Experts discussed urban parks' largest challenges-including maintaining enormous amounts of land, serving a changing constituency, and addressing competition for public funds-and offered possible solutions, such as charging visitor fees, forming new partnerships, and increasing donations. Future research might focus on issues of equity, fiscal viability, and outcome development. This report summarizes those proceedings.

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