Friday, July 11, 2008

Empty Playgrounds

Court SquareMy answer to this tweet from jccvi:
@gatesofmemphis driving all over the city, I see brand new empty playgrounds. It seems like an indictment, though I'm not sure of whom or what
I swipe from Jane Jacobs
Conventionally, neighborhood parks or parklike open spaces are considered boons conferred on the deprived populations of cities. Let us turn this thought around, and consider city parks deprived places that need the boon of life and appreciation conferred on them. This is more nearly in accord with reality, for people do confer use on parks and make them successes -- or else withhold use and doom parks to rejection and failure.
Too much is expected of city parks. Far from transforming any essential quality in their surroundings, far from uplifting their neighborhoods, neighborhood parks themselves are directly and drastically affected by the way the neighborhood acts upon them.
As true of Overton as it is Riverside and will be of Shelby Farms, a park in itself will not fix a neighborhood or district's problems -- density, walkability, diversity, dullness. Those problems will spill over to the success of parks.

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Blogger Aaron said...

1/3 of our kids are obese busily playing video games or watching TV.

Parents have little idle time these days either juggling multiple jobs or shuttling the older siblings to school or sporting events.

It's hot out there!!! Every play ground needs a fountain of some sort or a pool.

From Gate's explanation it would seem that Binghampton would be a very active and well used park. Anyone have first hand evidence for this?

Build a skate park and watch the ants come out of the woodwork! Parents and kids can both play!

2:56 PM  
Blogger gatesofmemphis said...

aaron, perhpas a very simplistic way to answer jccvi and to cite Jane Jacobs, but let me say that Memphis will do _anything_ to avoid changing the way it builds and rebuilds itself. Parks are great, but they cannot by themselves fix our city, especially if our we don't check our low-density, dull, unwalkable sprawl.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Maybe $10 a gallon would help catalyze this density shift

11:24 AM  

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