Green Outlook

Building the Future of Public Parks Today

The recent completion of the Hudson Greenway bike and walking path has brought new life to a five-acre area of Riverside Park near 95th Street that for decades was seldom visited except by tennis players using the historic public clay courts. The sudden spike in visitors has unmasked the site's inadequacies—no public facilities other than two portable toilets, an unsightly abandoned parking lot and paved roads to nowhere—but also has created a unique opportunity for transformation. With a full commitment to a sustainable design, the Riverside Park Fund and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association have launched a $5.5 million capital campaign to develop a scenic destination at the brightest point in Riverside Park, itself a jewel in New York's crown of public spaces and one of NYC's eight scenic landmark parks.

The Green Outlook is an off-grid, self-contained, sustainable complex that will serve thousands of bicyclists, joggers, strollers, picnickers and tennis players.

The Green Outlook will

  • Replace an abandoned asphalt parking lot with a native wildflower meadow
  • Create an overlook with stunning views of the Hudson River
  • Provide Riverside Park and Hudson River Greenway users with a public restroom that employs solar energy, composting toilets and a green roof
  • Build a green maintenance facility for the busy red-clay tennis courts and surrounding parkland and gardens

Serving as a model for future park improvements the entire complex will be carbon-neutral and employ the latest green technologies, including solar power, recycled materials, gray-water remediation, on-site waste treatment and use, and storm water management.

The Hudson River Greenway is the busiest bike path in the country. Every day thousands of joggers, strollers, picnickers and fishermen use the Greenway and adjacent stretch of Riverside Park that lies west of the highway. The nearby popular public red-clay tennis courts attract more than 25,000 hourly signups each year. And yet, between 79th and 148th streets there are no public restrooms. Thousands of active park users have no nearby place to "go."

Also, this once isolated part of Riverside Park, which is now connected to Cherry Walk to the north and Hudson River Walk to the south, has been brought to stunning life with beautiful flower gardens, landscaped pathways and manicured lawns. However, the area lacks a proper maintenance facility for the park and the courts.

In solving these problems the Green Outlook initiative will also turn a derelict parking lot into a wildflower meadow and overlook and provide much-needed maintenance facilities for the park, and bathroom facilities for park users—all in the most environmentally responsible way. This Green Outlook public facility will have a long-lasting impact on the future of green building in New York and across the country. More than simply repurposing of the obsolete infrastructure, the new structures will meet the Living Building Challenge, one of the most rigorous green building standards in the world, and will forcefully advance Mayor Bloomberg's and our city's sustainability goals laid out in PlaNYC 2030 and Vision 2020.

Read about the Green Outlook in the New York Times:
Riverside Park Plans Composting Restroom
GREEN: A Blog About Energy and the Environment

A Campaign with Vision
RCTA raised $85,000 in private funds to commission a feasibility study from Cook+Fox and to kick-start the campaing. NYC Council Member Gale Brewer has committed $1.2 million to the project. Total costs are $5.5 million. The plan is to raise $4 million from public sources and $1.5 million from individuals and institutions. A Capital Campaign Committee is in formation to help raise private support. The project requires $450,000 to initiate the design process. Members include Robin Noble-Zolin, Steering Committee Chair, Susan Curtis, Molly McDermott, Barbara Petroske, Helene Rabinovitz, Mary Goldschmid, Monica Titera, Nina Myers, Liza Kent and Sebastian Ferrari.

Campaign Partners To better help achieve these goals, Riverside Park Fund and RCTA have partnered with the following prestigious firms:
See Campaign Partners

For more information contact Mark McIntyre, Executive Director, RCTA, at or 212-870-3078

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