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.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

(Even) more parks planning

1.  Today's Post has an interesting query in the "Going Out" column.  Where can people who live in apartments grill (in a public park)?

I remember when I was young that parks had grills that people could use.  Over time, due to fire risk probably, as well as issues with disposing the ashes, most urban parks got rid of the grills.  See "Get grilling: Barbecue-friendly parks in NYC" from the New York Daily News.

This is something that needs to be covered in more robust parks planning for urban neighborhoods.

2.  Only semi-related, some communities have public ovens.  (Which I think is really cool.)

-- Park Ovens in Minnesota
-- Dufferin Park, Toronto
-- Community ovens, Australia

3.  The other day, the Examiner reported ("Memorial park planned to honor victims of 2009 Metro crash") that DC is planning a memorial park near the site of the terrible WMATA subway train crash that happened in 2009, as a memorial to the people who died.  Today's edition reports that some people in the neighborhood are opposed ("Neighbors oppose plans for Metro crash memorial").

While I think that some of their concerns--that local teens will have sex on the benches--are spurious (and deserving of inquiry about why people think and say such crazy things), the issue of what and who we memorialize is a question deserving of "planning."

And it isn't "fair," necessarily, that a memorial park be foisted on a neighborhood, especially a park that is likely to not be visited for its primary purpose, and in a place that is already used by a neighborhood for neighborhood-serving open space purposes.  (In NYC, residents in the Bronx that lost park space to the new Yankee Stadium got a replacement park.  See "A Public Park to Rival the Yankees' Playground" from the New York Times.)

A real problem with "memorials" is that the people who remember why the memorial exists "fade away" with time.  (Making me think of the Neil Young song, "Hey, Hey, My, My.")  After awhile, most such parks lose their meaning.



Post a Comment

<< Home