Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What kind of "public" access to parks is reasonable: balancing for profit uses

Fixing the grounds of Grant Park, Chicago
It's been nearly two weeks since Lollapalooza wrecked Grant Park. Christy Webber Landscape workers work to restore Grant Park to it's pre-concert condition. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago's Grant Park has been used for the last couple years as the location for Lollapallooza, the big multi-stage concert. This year, with rains etc., the grounds where the concert was are wrecked, and will take months to repair.

Sure the cost will be borne by the promoter, but is it worth losing the use of large portions of a park for 3-4 months?

I'd say probably not. See "Lollapalooza’s messy aftermath: When will we get Grant Park back?" from the Chicago Sun-Times. From the article:

Large portions of Grant Park remain barren long after Lollapalooza crowds and storms devastated the concert grounds — and officials are starting to receive complaints.

“They know the pressure is on to get it done,” said Bob O’Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy. “People are getting anxious. The park needs to be used by other people, and they like walking through a green park.”

The festival ended on Aug. 7. On Wednesday — 10 days after the bash — the park remained a big work in progress.

The mud pools that concert-goers gleefully splashed through have dried and been smoothed out by heavy equipment. But huge swaths of the normally grass-covered park are instead fields of dirt. ...

“We’re getting millions of dollars raised for the parks, so it’s a balance,” he said. “We ask for the public’s patience, I would be really upset if this was just a big festival and no money went to the parks; this makes it a little more tolerable that the repairs take a little longer.”

Note that the use of Bryant Park for various for profit events, like Fashion Week, is controversial too. The Park management group does it for the money and the publicity, but it does come at a cost of loss of access.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home