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The transformation of New York from 'one of the world's most unpleasant cities' to a more 'people friendly' place h...
The transformation of New York from 'one of the world's most unpleasant cities' to a more 'people friendly' place has been helped by initiatives to revitalise the city's parks, according to The Financial Times (p6).

The ideas date from 1980 and are being held up as models. The transformation of Bryant Park has been driven by the private sector under special city council legislation enabling the establishment of business improvement districts funded by local taxes.

The revitalisation of Central Park has been propelled by philanthropists via the Central Park Conservancy, which has raised about $170m (£100m) since its inception, with donations from corporations and individuals.

The Bryant Park scheme sees propert owners in the area paying a levy of 15-25 cents per square foot per year to fund improvements ranging from upgraded newspaper kiosks to well-maintained public conveniences. Additional funds come from rentals on cafes and foodstalls and sponsorship.

Other initiatives include the Grand Central Partnership, which covers such landmarks as Grand Central Station and the Chrysler building, and the 34th Street Partnership, including Broadway and the Empire State building.

Improvements to the zones have been part funded by two tax-exempt bond issues which have raised about $40m.

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