But the city has, to its credit, lavished money on parks in all boroughs, not just Manhattan and Brooklyn. One of its most ambitious projects is the conversion of Fresh Kills Landfill, on Staten Island, into Freshkills Park, which will be almost three times the size of Central Park.

The New York story is a national one. In the center of Oklahoma City, a revitalized park complex, Myriad Botanical Gardens, recently took root. In downtown Houston, there’s Discovery Green. Dallas is building a park on a deck over a downtown freeway, and Los Angeles is looking at how to gussy and green up an old concrete river bed.

“We’re living in an era of re-urbanization,” said Catherine Nagel, executive director of the City Parks Alliance, which is sponsoring the conference in New York. And the increased population density means that “we need green space,” she said. Amazingly, we’re getting it: because citizens have demanded as much; because governments have made it a priority; because public and private partnerships have been cultivated. New York is the bright flower of all that.

In Urban Parks, Our Newly Lush Life – NYTimes.com. The greening of New York, and to a far lesser extent other cities, has indeed been wonderful to see. But a city can’t “lavish money” it doesn’t have. Bruni needs to acknowledge that all this beautification has resulted from (a) the concentration of more and more wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people, and (b) the increasing preference for urban living among the super-rich. Again, I love the new New York, but more than ever before it’s a city run by rich people for rich people.