April 21, 2018
"We need to keep reinventing our city."
Robert Hammond is the executive director and co-founder of Friends of the High Line, which was the driving force behind turning an abandoned elevated railroad in New York City into a public park. We discuss the essential role of a city’s public open spaces and how exhilarating it is to pursue your dreams.
Parks are at the intersection of social issues
Parks have a role in our social issues from economic injustice to education and the environment. A city’s true ingredient is people, and parks allow for the ultimate human experience of people watching, voyeurism, and interacting with others. All communities benefit from having safe, free, and open public spaces.
Get involved in your city
Community board meetings are open to the public, and they always need people to get involved. They’re only as good as the people who participate. Many opportunities exist to volunteer in your area of interest and expertise.
Go after your dreams
Pursuing a crazy idea is freeing, fun, and exciting. Perseverance and skepticism are a part of this process. Even if your specific vision does not come true, there is still value in thinking, talking, and organizing around the issue of public open spaces.
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Robert Hammond is the co-founder and executive director of Friends of the High Line. This organization is in charge of maintaining, operating, and programming the High Line Park, one of the most visited and popular landmarks in New York City.