Case Memo: Green for Green? Private Money for Public Parks


Over the years, the city budget tended to be in favor of education, schools, good housing, leaving the parks in desolate conditions.

Encourage the adoption of public-private partnerships in the maintenance and upgrading of public parks since it would motivate the park employees and the management to do their work correctly.

Improve the funding process of the park by ensuring it remains active such that it provides sustainable support for the park and its activities.


Question One: The New York City has the most iconic public parks in the world and large private companies through the public-private partnerships’ initiatives finance some of these parks such as Central Park and the High Line. The establishment of Central Park and High Line management was in 1980 and 2004 respectively but over the years, the city budget tended to be in favor of education, schools, good housing as well as the welfare of the city dwellers, over the parks even at best of times meaning that the parks remained in dilapidated conditions.

The purpose of this memo is to appreciate the entry of public-private partnerships (PPP) and advocate their effectiveness in reviving the dilapidated parks into world class and most iconic in the whole world. The action should be authorized because it would encourage the adoption of public-private partnerships in the maintenance and upgrading of public parks often considered national treasures. The rationale of taking such actions is that it would motivate the park employees and the management to do their work correctly since there is money available to fund the necessary projects that seek to improve the welfare of the parks. The effect of taking this action will be that it would be an advocate for the promotion of public-private partnerships where private organizations finance and maintain public parks. The accomplishment is that the parks’ management would have the necessary funding to employ, run and maintain parks and make them be in world-class standards. The advantages of pursuing this particular action are that it would technically provide the parks with the much-needed funds to run them properly. It would be a disadvantage since it produces a two-tier system where the affluent areas have well-funded parks while the poor areas will be underfunded.

Question Two: Project funding was achievable using the different project funding models common across cities and other regions in the United States. Firstly, the project funding can be attainable through the private donations, and this was the technique used to build the subway system of the New York City. Further, this is the most convenient method for funding privately run projects, and it is effective because the individuals and private entities can raise funds to serve a project. Stakeholders can also utilize the 19th-century model that involved civic engagement. The civic engagement created the Central Park. Changes for park funding emerged in the 1990s and the options available at that time were either an increase in private funding, new taxes, or enhanced use of the workfare. The New York City Bryant Park used the business improvement district-model. The Parks Department and Conservancy used a property tax technique to fund the parks enhancement projects. These funding models implied that there would always be a way for society to fund the parks. The proposed improvement of the funding process shows that the stakeholders are looking for a better way of ensuring that park funding remains active. It provides sustainable support for the park such that the stakeholders can achieve continuous progress in supporting the park activities. These arrangements in the future are essential because they prevent the park projects from facing financial crunch and they can progress without disturbance.

Question Three: The new tax financial model (property tax model) is sustainable because it provides a system for continued funding of the parks. This model can enable the parks department to raise funds regularly without struggle or without undergoing any delays since the government would be able to deduct the funds immediately from the property tax funding system. An additional aspect of the system is that the parks department can prevent the embezzlement of funds or any misuse because they can budget for any parks improvement project from a central funding source. In particular, this means that the leaders in the department can monitor the expenditure of the funds on the various projects including the quantities or cost of projects.

Question Four: These kinds of projects are not unique to New York City. They can as well serve the same purpose in the rest of the cities in the country. The model or property tax is applicable in the rest of the cities because there are properties whose owners can pay an additional tax to support the parks improvement projects. Noteworthy is that the parks department in every city can utilize this model as an organized way of raising funds for the various projects that should progress in the parks. The rest of the cities in the country can follow the example of New York City because the model utilized by the New York City Parks Department provides an easy way of raising funds to support the project. The new tax model applies to all cities because the government can set guidelines for the management of the public funds raised to support the park projects. As a result, applying this model to other cities gives the leaders an opportunity to prevent the misuse of funds by ensuring that all the processes are under continuous monitoring and control. Additionally, it would be prudent to recommend this model to other cities to enable them to manage their parks and develop them through consistent funding in an effective and clear way.


The civic engagement model is where the citizenry of the city devises a plan to raise funds from among themselves and other sources to renovate, improve, and maintain their public parks. The advantage is that the citizenry is actively involved and responsible for the renovation and maintenance of the public parks. However, it might attract unnecessary cost on the citizenry.

Private donations model is whereby private organizations and individuals raise money for a particular project. Individuals of the same mind and idea, as well as other private institutions that show interest in the renovations and improvements of the parks essentially fund the projects for the parks through private donations. It is advantageous to pursue this model since it not only attracts individuals willing to support the projects but also ensures a consistent flow of cash to achieve the same. However, this model might also encourage misuse of funds by the parks department on unnecessary projects.


The new tax financial model is sustainable since it provides a system for continued funding of the parks. Additionally, it will enable parks to have continuous access and flow of funds for the renovation of the parks. The first step is to implement the tax financial model immediately and ensure that it complies with the property tax funding system. The long-term step to take would be to implement some prevention techniques that aim at preventing any form of misuse and embezzlement of the collected money in the long run.

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