Who Cleans the Park? is a remarkably well‐researched and detailed exposé of the New York City park system’s immense maintenance operations. Buttressed by more than 100 frontline interviews (with park maintenance ‘workers’, city officials, nonprofit managers and board members, unionists, politicians and philanthropists), Krinksy and Simonet’s work deftly negotiates and leverages the system’s sheer size and complexities to carefully reconsider a host of questions that have long animated the debate over the rise and increasing entrenchment of neoliberal governance structures in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Among the most important of these are those that concern the nature of public goods and services, accountability, democracy, class power, inequality and the very nature of public works in big‐city America.The book’s early chapters (2–4) take readers on a whirlwind tour—enriched by the aforementioned interviews—across the city’s park system, introducing them to its complex workforce, the diversity of daily park maintenance activities and the organizational milieu that overlays the entire system. These chapters ably document the increasing use (since New York’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s and particularly since the 1990s) of non‐traditional city park maintenance ‘workers’ across the system: various welfare‐to‐work people, nonprofit organization (especially park conservancy) staff, community service sentencees
International Journal of Urban and Regional Research – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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