The Atlantic

Don’t Close Parks. Open Up Streets.

Give people the public space they need right now.
Source: Noam Galai / Getty

New York’s cemeteries have overflowed before.

In the 1850s, the people filling the cemetery were not all dead. Throughout the hot days of summer, New Yorkers flocked to Brooklyn’s sprawling Green-Wood Cemetery in order to breathe and move. The city’s population had increased fivefold in five decades, and people needed a place to escape from their tiny homes.

Despite warnings to disperse, people continued picnicking among the mausoleums. But instead of punishing the cemetery-goers, city officials took a different approach. To accommodate the demand, they a few blocks away. It would come to be one of the most effective in the

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