Sidewalk Gardens of New YorkBetsy Pinover Schiff; foreword by Adrian Benepe; text by Alicia Whitaker

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“New York City looks nothing - nothing - like it did just a decade and a half ago. It’s a place of newly gorgeous waterfront promenades, of trees, tall grasses and blooming flowers on patches of land and peninsulas of concrete and even stretches of rail tracks that were blighted or blank before.” - Frank Bruni, The New York Times

“Betsy Pinover Schiff’s unerring eye and spectacular photographs tell the story of a city, and how its pre-Dorothy and Oz, colorless and downtrodden existence has been redone as if by wizardry in glorious Technicolor.” - Adrian Benepe, former Parks Commissioner of New York City

Betsy Pinover Schiff has been photographing urban plantings and chronicling the “greening” of the city for more than two decades. Once limited to private spaces and elite neighborhoods, these plantings now proliferate throughout the five boroughs. Sidewalk Gardens of New York reveals the transformation of the “city of concrete and glass” into one of the greenest and most richly planted urban centers in America. Nature and architecture combine in ways that will surprise even the most seasoned New Yorkers.

Featured are tree beds, planters, hanging baskets, and medians that mitigate the frenzy of the street; plazas and pocket parks that offer respite to pedestrians, building plantings that create a welcoming transition between public and private; community gardens; and parks, both the iconic and the newly planted along the waterfront in Brooklyn, Queens, and Lower Manhattan.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 224 × 217 mm ( × in)
  • Pages: 192 pp
  • Illustrations: 150 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580934640

Betsy Pinover Schiff is the photographer of six books on gardens and landscape architecture, including three about New York City. Her work has been featured in exhibitions in New York, the Hamptons, and Mexico and published in Architectural Digest and New York Spaces, among others.

Adrian Benepe, now senior director for parks development at the Trust for Public Land, served as commissioner of parks and recreation in New York City under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. During his tenure more than 800 acres of parkland were opened, including Brooklyn Bridge Park and the High Line.

Alicia Whitaker, a passionate gardener and horticulture specialist, serves on the board of the Horticulture Alliance of the Hamptons.