The Nation: Muggers' First Prize

Everybody loves a park, right? No longer. In deteriorating, tension-ridden cities, parks are becoming as popular as pigeons. Writing in the current Public Interest, Donald Simon, a former New York City parks official, tells how communities are shunning parks and turning down proposals for new ones. They have often become the most dangerous areas of the city, 24-hour-a-day roosts for the criminal population.

New York City rehabilitated Fort Greene Park of Brooklyn, but restorations made by day were vandalized by night. Residents finally advised the city to stop adding amenities, such as bronze ornaments. "It would be like throwing them in...

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