The Gotham Gazette reported on a plan to establish a Hudson River Park BID-style partnership that would be funded by taxes on property owners. Easy to say that this could become a significant force in shaping public open-space in New York City, in much the same way that the Times Square Partnership and other groups have shaped street-space.
Public-private financing schemes become self-fulfilling prophecies for less public control over public space. BIDs and kin allow property owners with an interest in rising rents to control space that should be available to everyone, a particularly perilous situation considering the importance of public parks in the big city. Property-owner funded quasi-government structures remake the city in the name of rising rents, but they also create another fee for owners to pass on to tenants, encouraging immediate rise in rents that push more people out of the city.
Once property-owners establish private financing schemes, it provides the city an excuse to rollback funding for park maintenance in the name of balancing the budget while keeping park services in place. The result are public-private schemes like the privatization of Union Square’s pavilion, and the Tisch-NYU-Village Alliance backed Washington Square Park renovation, which honestly sucks. That’s the real face of new BIDs for parks.