As today's architects, urban planners, and community groups seek to get the most out of the limited public lands at their disposal, they seek precedents on marrying open space with infrastructure. The Productive Park
provides guidelines and discussion on this important new approach to the uses of civic space. It explores how the need for additions to New York City's water supply infrastructure can be combined with a new system of neighborhood parks, improving the quality of urban life while meeting the requirements of the city's utilitarian functions.
The 34 projects in the Productive Park study are presented through illustrations and descriptive text. Elizabeth Meyer, chair of the landscape department of the University of Virginia, provides an analysis of the projects. An essay by William Morrish and Catherine Brown, who have been hailed by Herbert Muschamp in the New York Times as "the most valuable thinkers in urbanism today, " provides context for the design study. The Productive Park concludes with an extensively illustrated essay by Tom Cirillo, Rosalie Genevro, and Anne Rieselbach that discusses the history of the New York City water supply system, from the building of the Croton Aqueduct in the 1830s up to its reconstruction, scheduled for completion in the year 2000.