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Forest Service Research Evaluates Public Response to Transformed Landfill

Photo of Kayakers at Freshkills Park site Photo provided by NYC Parks. New York City Parks.Kayakers at Freshkills Park site Photo provided by NYC Parks. New York City Parks.Snapshot : City parks are easy to love, but would you love, or visit, a park that used to be a landfill? As part of a team that included the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and university partners, Forest Service social scientists Lindsay Campbell and Stephanie Snyder explored public response to Freshkills Park, the largest landfill-to-park transformation ever undertaken in the United States.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Snyder, StephanieCampbell, Lindsay K.
Research Location : New York City, Staten Island
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1007


Globally, landfills are being transformed into other uses because land resources are scarce, property values are increasing, and governments seek to reduce urban blight and adaptively reuse space. Park planners and city managers are likely to find that gauging public perceptions of a landfill-to-park project transformation and promoting such sites to potential visitors are challenging tasks but important components of sustainability efforts. A landfill-to-park project currently underway is the transformation of the former Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, New York, into Freshkills Park. A team led by Christine Vogt of Arizona State University and David Klenosky of Purdue University and catalyzed by the Forest Service’s New York City Urban Field Station found that proximity to Freshkills Park and experience and familiarity with the site when it was a landfill matter in terms of public response. Knowledge of the park and intent to visit it is highest among people who live near it, information that will help park planners develop tools to connect people to a unique new park. The study found support for this landfill-to-park transformation. As urban populations increase, re-use of landfills will likely become more common as demand for parks and recreation space increases and undeveloped land becomes scarcer.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Arizona State University
  • Purdue University