Consider adopt-a-park programs; private partnerships — including possible naming rights to parks — in exchange for corporate or individual investments.

Create an arm’s-length agency to oversee parks management, as is done in Vancouver and Minneapolis. Harvey holds up the Toronto Public Library system, which is governed by such a board, as an example of driving innovation.

“Because it’s separate and independent, it’s got more creativity and more flexibility,” he said, noting how well the library has adapted to changing technology, offering much more than just books. “They’re thinking about how to make a better city and serve their customers.”

Cities like Paris and New York are famous for parks that have become destinations, such as Luxembourg Gardens and Central Park — something Harvey believes is missing in Toronto.

“These parks have so many spinoff benefits,” he said, noting they might draw more businesses to the area, create community cohesion and more green space in the city, where highrise living is becoming more commonplace.