Frequently Asked Questions

A capital project typically takes years to complete, so your group should know what to expect before starting on a People Make Parks project.

The ribbon-cutting at Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

For a successful People Make Parks project, your group will need to:

The People Make Parks website was created to help you, your park group, or a volunteer community group achieve these goals.

On August 6, 2009, community members joined NYC Parks then-Commissioner, Adrian Benepe, at the playground’s groundbreaking ceremony. The Commissioner called the PMP process “a textbook example of collaborative design,” because HSC and SDRPC “solicited ideas from community residents – youth and adults – and involved them in helping design the new playground.”

To better understand the NYC Parks Capital Process, check out our answers to Frequently Asked Questions and visit the NYC Parks website.

What is a capital project?

A capital project is a physical improvement in a park that costs more than $35,000 and is expected to have a useful life of at least five years. A capital project can include the renovation of an existing space or construction of an entirely new one.

How can I find out about a capital project in my neighborhood park?

To learn about proposed and active capital projects in your neighborhood park spaces, visit the NYC Parks Capital Project Tracker.  If you have an inquiry regarding a specific capital project, be sure to click the link to "Contact NYC Parks" on that project's webpage.  NYC Parks will respond to your inquiry within 10 business days.

You can also check out recently completed capital projects and and projects nearing completion on the NYC Parks What's Next in Capital Projects webpage.

What are the costs connected to a capital project?

Capital projects have many costs, not all of which can be readily seen. In fact, almost one-third of a capital project budget goes to "soft" costs. A typical budget breaks down as follows:

  • Design (10%)
  • Construction supervision and contingencies (20%)
  • Actual construction costs - materials, equipment, worker salaries, etc. (70%)

Who is involved in a capital project?

It takes many people to design and build a park. That's why we've created a Glossary to explain the role each person plays.


How long does a capital project take, and how can I get involved at each step?

Once funding is in place, most capital projects can take between 30-46 months to complete, depending on the size and scope of the project. The average time to complete each phase of the capital process is as follows: Design:10-16 months; Procurement: 9 months; Construction: 12-18 months.

Check out the Steps page to learn how your group can get involved at any stage of the process.

Who is my Partnerships for Parks Outreach Coordinator, and how can he or she help me contribute to a capital project?

Your Outreach Coordinator, or "OC", is your direct link to NYC Parks and local Friends groups and serves as your guide to develop the relationships you need for a successful capital project. If you think your park is scheduled for a capital improvement, or your group is interested in advocating for a capital improvement, your OC is the first person to contact.