Climate: Central Park is being transformed into an environmental research center

Central Park will be a center of study about the place urban parks occupy in cities. A community of researchers from Yale University and several New York environmental agencies have joined forces to conduct a cycle of research into the evolution of the mythical New York park to create a “the best tools to fight the climate crisis”.

What roles do parks play in cities? What place does nature have in the city and how does it change with global warming? New York City seeks to answer these questions by launching the Central Park Climate Lab, a place to study adaptation strategies in light of the heat island phenomenon and more broadly, climate change, in the city’s mythical park: Central Park.

Announced on Wednesday, January 12, this new research hub brings together the Central Park Conservancy, the Yale School of the Environment and the Natural Areas Conservancy. This one “single frame” will serve as a reference in the study of urban parks. More broadly, it will ultimately serve the policies to combat global warming in these places at the municipal and national levels.

“Urban parks are just as vulnerable to climate change as other parts of our national landscape, including wildlife areas and coastlines. […] But there are no unified resources or policy recommendations to help cities manage and protect their parks in the face of these challenges.”notes the Central Park Conservancy in a press release.

“A new era of research to combat the climate crisis”

Central Park has proven to be the right guinea pig for researchers. The park isn’t the largest in the city (it is Pelham Bay Park, located in the Bronx), but it remains the most guarded due to its fame in the United States and the world. The teams responsible for its maintenance have equipped it with numerous sensors and technological tools to monitor any changes in this 3.41 km2 ecosystem; not to mention the team of gardeners and landscape architects who look after this place every day.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, green spaces have become essential for city dwellers. Continuing to maintain, maintain and improve the well-being they provide to visitors continues ” our goal “says the Central Park Conservancy.

“The Central Park Climate Lab marks the beginning of a new era of research and collaboration that will empower our park professionals with better tools to combat the climate crisis,” The city’s new mayor, Eric Adams, said in a statement. “It will become a model for city parks across the country.”

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