New York, New York | Dianne M. Weston & Michele Llewelyn, Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage
City living isn’t complete without nature close at hand. Today, urban dwellers have a greater appreciation for green spaces—and a deeper understanding of how profoundly forests and gardens improve our quality of life. Fortunately, the world’s most iconic metropolitan centers are also home to some of the most verdant parks, as demonstrated by these five unrivaled residences.
Stanley Park, Vancouver
Stanley Park, photo courtesy of Marcelo Rodriguez / Shutterstock Inc.
There’s only one place where big-city living is perfectly juxtaposed with the pristine temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest—and that’s Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Hike or bike through the evergreen trails, or follow the famous six-mile seawall that spans from Coal Harbour to English Bay. Then, head back towards the park for a lap around Lost Lagoon, an artificial body of water that’s home to Jubilee Fountain and dozens of native bird species.
Just steps from Lost Lagoon is Denman Street, a thriving hub of coffee shops and restaurants that feels more like a resort village than a downtown neighborhood. This sunny condo is located a short distance away, in a newly renovated highrise nestled on a tree-lined street. The airy, light-filled space features spectacular views of English Bay, as well as shared access to resort-like amenities and a tranquil rooftop deck.
Central Park, New York
Central Park, photo courtesy of Sean Pavone / Shutterstock Inc.
New York City always takes things to the next level, and Central Park is no different. As if its picturesque footpaths, diverse flora, and beautiful flourishes of public art and architecture weren’t enough, there are endless cultural attractions as well, such as Shakespeare Garden, Strawberry Fields, the Central Park Carousel, and Belvedere Castle.
New York, New York | Esther Muller & Lisa Maysonet, Sotheby’s International Realty – East Side Manhattan Brokerage
Within blocks of Carnegie Hall, MOMA, and Lincoln Center, this tenth-floor apartment is parkside living at its finest. The two-bedroom, two-bathroom home features an open floor plan, wide-plank oak flooring, and custom millwork, and on-site building staff include a full-time doorman, concierge, and handyman. But perhaps the most appealing benefit of this parkside property is that some of the world’s best theater, dining, and museums are mere moments away.
Luxembourg Gardens, Paris
Luxembourg Palace and park, photo courtesy of V_E / Shutterstock Inc.
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and Haussmann’s 19th-century renovation of the central arrondissements created wide avenues and space for the Palais Garnier. But for a moment of greenery, there’s no better stop than the Luxembourg Gardens. Flanking the baroque Luxembourg Palace, the gardens are a breath of fresh air, with immaculate lawns, colorful flower beds, and the glittering Grand Bassin.
This exceptional home is within walking distance of not only the Luxembourg Gardens, but the sumptuous greenery and glass pavilions of the Jardin des Plantes—and a natural sanctuary is never far away thanks to the secluded courtyard that distinguishes this property from its neighbors. With ample space across its central living room and three independent suites, as well as a luminous skylight, it’s an ideal layout for putting furniture and art on display.
Park Güell, Barcelona
Park Güell columns and aqueducts, photo courtesy of Ms VectorPlus / Shutterstock Inc.
Between 1900 and 1914, Carmel Hill in Barcelona’s Gràcia district was transformed into one of the world’s greatest—and largest—contiguous art installations by celebrated architect Antoni Gaudí. A meandering wonderland of organic sculptures, ceramic tile mosaics, and sun-loving Mediterranean vegetation, it’s impossible to take it all in with just one visit.
Barcelona, Spain | Christoph Toelle, Barcelona & Costa Brava Sotheby’s International Realty
That alone makes having a Barcelona abode worthwhile, and though Park Güell is a short drive away from this spectacular fifth-floor condo, the quieter Turo Parc is right in the front yard, with views of its breezy, shimmering canopy from every bedroom. This property brings the best Barcelona has to offer, located in a peaceful residential neighborhood but still close to amazing shopping and dining.
Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore
Fountain inside Singapore’s National Orchid Garden, photo courtesy of Pumidol / Shutterstock Inc.
Singapore might be a global center of finance and commerce, but just beyond the dense skyscrapers of its urban core, this ultramodern city-state boasts unique oases like the Singapore Botanic Gardens. From the Ethnobotany Garden with over 300 species of plants to the National Orchid Garden with over 1,000 species on display, the Botanic Gardens plays host to an abundance of visual and sensory delights. The Gardens are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are widely renowned as one of Asia’s greatest parks.
The Gardens also happen to be right on the doorstep of this one-of-a-kind penthouse. There’s only one condo development in the exceptional Cluny Park enclave, and this four-bedroom architectural abode is poised at the very top, with magnificent vistas of the Gardens, a private elevator, and access to a rooftop gym and pool.
A serene spot under the trees is an important benefit of any home, not just those in the country. Find an urban escape near a city park, and you’ll be able breathe deep.
Search for your next urban residence with greenery from among these city listings.