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Declaration of a Peaceful Revolution
Tech Billionaires Ignore the Philanthropy of Things
We live in an age of megaphilanthropy. Big name Silicon Valley billionaires channel their fortunes into social causes ranging from poverty and healthcare to education and gender equality. Two philanthropic New Yorkers have taken a different path, steering clear of lofty causes in favor of tangible, physical contributions to improve the life of their city.
Entertainment mogul Barry Diller and fashion entrepreneur Diane von Furstenberg were among the most generous funders of the High Line, an elevated—and celebrated—public park built in 2009 along an abandoned rail line on the west side of Manhattan. Now they have complemented their work with the Little Island—a delightfully imaginative $260 million park built on the piles of an unused Hudson River pier. The 2.4-acre green space over the water draws Covid-era time-ticketed crowds to its playful features, including walking trails, amphitheaters and gardens with stunning views of the city skyline and river. Elaborate plantings engage horticulturalists and chimes draw children.
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