Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Edward van Buren
This paper investigates the role of green space in combating the negative impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on New Yorkers. Access to the outdoors is vital for ensuring the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of individuals at all times, but especially in times of communal crisis. Chapter 1 investigates park usage during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, from changes in the numbers of people patronizing their local parks, to the implications the pandemic had on park maintenance. Chapter 2 discusses Nature Deficit Disorder and the benefits of time spent outdoors to understand the vital role parks have in individuals’ mental and physical health. Chapter 3 analyzes the history of parks in New York City and how New Yorkers have historically engaged with their green spaces. Chapter 4 analyzes the politics behind parks funding in New York City and the inequities caused by funding discrepancies across the city. Chapter 5 builds upon the first four chapters to detail public policy recommendations which would allow New Yorkers easier access to well-maintained and equitable outdoors spaces; spaces vital to the success of both individuals and communities alike. The Bronx is Blooming, a Bronx-based environmental non-profit organization at which I have worked with for the past year is used as a case-study in Chapter 4.
Dickerson, Ellena, "Locked Inside: The Importance of New York City’s Parks in the Wake of COVID-19" (2022). Student Theses 2015-Present. 129.