New York could ‘copy’ Sheffield’s Peace Gardens

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It’s a long way from Central Park to Weston Park...

But the man in charge of New York’s green oases has praised Sheffield’s parks in a visit to the Steel City - saying they mirrored some over the pond.

Mitchell Silver, parks commissioner for New York City meets with Cllr Isobel Bowler at Weston Park where they are comparing the similarities of the cities' green spaces

Mitchell Silver, parks commissioner for New York City meets with Cllr Isobel Bowler at Weston Park where they are comparing the similarities of the cities' green spaces

And pictures of the popular Peace Gardens will be shown to Harvard students, with the possibility of the park even being replicated in the Big Apple, after he chose it as his favourite Sheffield space.

“Sheffield parks are absolutely beautiful,” Mitchell Silver, parks and recreation commissioner for New York City told The Star.

“My favourite public space is the Peace Gardens, and then Weston Park is really spectacular - it reminds me a lot of our parks in New York. They are similar in terms of the horticulture, they have beautiful gardens, the open spaces, the lake element, it just has a comfortable feel and is an oasis where people can come to relax, to read, to sit down and have a conversation.

“The Peace Gardens is one of the better planned designs I have seen in a very long time.

“I teach a class in the States and I’ll be sharing the whole Peace Gardens, I took about 100 photographs for my students.

“It is something I hope I can replicate - maybe copy - in New York.”

Planning expert Mr Silver was invited to Sheffield by the Department of Town and Regional Planning at The University of Sheffield, to speak at a lecture yesterday.

He said improvements could be made by looking at the demographics of people living near parks and then re-thinking the activities on offer - with boating in Crookes Valley Park being one suggestion.

He added New Yorkers are as proud of their parks as Sheffielders.

Mr Silver said: “Parks are very important. For some people that don’t have access to gardens or public space, it for their physical and mental health. Parks help you feel alive, make cities liveable.

“I don’t know how New York could be the successful city it is without parks, and I feel Sheffield is the same.”