Session Details

Value Capture Strategies for Financially Self-Sustaining Parks

Come to this session to learn about funding approaches that are tapping into adjacent real estate and economic development to bring financial resources to urban parks.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, created by an agreement that transferred land from New York State to New York City, required that the park's operation be entirely self-sustaining. The park's unique funding model relies on a small portion of onsite development projects that support the maintenance and operation of the park. Construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park began in 2008 and is now 90% complete but the implementation of the funding model has not been without challenges. Hear the lessons learned from Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to provide a world-class recreational, educational, and cultural destination free to the public. 

Business Improvement Districts are also providing needed revenue and programming to downtown parks. The recently established Greenway Business Improvement District in Boston, MA, established an annual $1.5 million revenue stream to exclusively fund the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy's maintenance and improvements of the Rose Kennedy Greenway. Learn how this partnership came together, the ongoing roles each organization plays, and how they established dedicated funding streams to support ongoing park operations and maintenance.

Houston has embarked on creating a 150-mile linear park system called Bayou Greenways. Hear how the Houston Parks Board, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, developed a maintenance program from scratch which uses economic development has the basis of funding. The framework for the program included the creation of standards, staffing, and contracting requirements, and funding levels/sources. Hear the challenges and lessons learned from these three successful examples.

Session Presentation Slides

Slide Deck: Value Capture Strategies for Financially Self-Sustaining Parks


  • Determine the role of your agency and partners in maintenance of a linear greenway system.
  • Develop standards for a maintenance program.
  • Identify strategies for funding a maintenance program.
  • Learn the conditions that lend themselves to the formation of a BID.
  • Find out the political circumstances that contribute to a multi-party funding agreement.