Theses Master's

Equity in Visitation of Remote Access Public Green Spaces: Exploring the History, Management,Perceptions of Governors Island

Nurmansyah, Alisa

This study will look into how Governors Island can become a more equitable, accessible, and creative open space and cultural institution for all residents of New York City. Governors Island is considered a remote and difficult-to-access public green space. Visitors have been skewed to a single type of population coming from more well-off neighborhoods with better access to the Island. A survey, semi-structured interviews, and spatial analysis will be conducted to uncover the perceptions of remote public spaces--if people's perceptions are affected by many variables, including its historical context, the current marketing of the space, or physical accessibility reach. A spatial analysis surrounding neighborhood demographics will describe and contextualize visitors' neighborhood conditions. The survey covers people's thoughts on the park and rating its accessibility, comfort, and activities available.

Due to concerns regarding the number of responses to the survey, interviews will also be conducted with professionals to gather their professional opinion on what it means to create equitable parks and why Governors Island may have yet to be able to do so. The results of these procedures suggest that visitation to Governors Island is motivated by an interest in recreational space and the unique experience that the Island provides. Generally, existing visitors and peer organization leaders have a favorable view of the Island. Based on the data, visitors mainly come from waterfront communities with quick access to the ferry- specifically from the wealthier and less predominantly minority-populated waterfront communities of Lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

Negative perceptions of difficulty of access, requiring more maintenance, and a mismatch of goals and actions for increasing equitable visitation to increasing leases with high-end vendors may not deter current visitors of the Island but creates a specific image of the Island. Ultimately, the biggest challenge the Island faces is the need for immediate access to the Island that most PGSs have. Expanding physical access should be a goal to achieve, but incorporating more thoughtful community input into the development of programming and activities on the Island should also be incorporated. Appropriate place branding of the Island is also a priority.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Dublin-Boc, Jenna L.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 16, 2023