My 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 whatI 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.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.
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.