City considers demolishing homes to develop two new parks

Just when the news seemed to be filled with shrinking cities and other cities having too much open space to maintain. It is refreshing to see a city, in this case Mountain View purchasing land with existing houses so that they may demolish them in the future to create open space for its citizens.

The city has $2.4 million to spend on building a new 27,000 square foot (approx. 2500 square metres) park on Mariposa Avenue and also a 16,500 quare foot (approx 1532 square metres) on Del Medio Avenue.

According to the Mercury News

the city council will consider awarding the design contracts to Santa Cruz-based SSA Landscape Architects and San Francisco-based Robert Mowat Associates.

Read more about the Mountain View plans at the [SOURCE:  Mercury News – Mountain View considers razing some homes to develop two new parks]

NY landfill parks could be open to the public next spring

New York’s two landfill parks at Fountain Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue could be reclassified as safe for public access by next spring according to a spokesperson from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The parks are currently closed as they are classified as a “significant threat to the public health or environment”.

The parks have undergone a transformation since 2004 when the first seeds were planted on the safety soil cap of the two landfill sites which were closed in 1985. Leslie Sauer, a founder of Andropogon Associates divided the parks into islands of different ecological niches with plantings representing different areas of the region with up 93% of the planting surviving.

The local residents envision various activities in the sites such as bicycle riding, performances in an amphitheater and fishing. The project has cost $200 million including the capping and planting of 33,000 shrubs and trees.

Information SOURCE: New York Times

America’s urban parks renewal

Neal Peirce of the Seattle Times has written an op-ed piece about the reawakening of America’s urban parks stating that

if there were ever a bonanza decade for America’s parks, this is surely it. Add stunning new parks in Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver and Santa Fe, plus the success of conservancies in revamping great old parks in such cities as Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and San Francisco.

Peirce reviews various new urban parks in America including the Citygarden in St.Louis, Highline in New York and he also cites Harnik(parks expert for the Trust for Public Land) as saying

the 2004 opening of the Millennium Park in Chicago had the biggest impact on the American parkland scene since New York’s great Central Park opened in 1873.

A great piece that gives some insight into America’s urban park renewal – read the opinion piece at the
SOURCE: Seattle Times – The human-scale reawakening of America’s urban parks


Highline in New York


Citygarden in St.Louis – Flickr Image: Stannate

West 8 get started on Miami Beach

West 8 has started design work on the 2 1/2 acre park adjacent to the New World Symphony new performance hall with a charrette last monday with Miami Beach residents. Ideas that came out of the charrette were Free Wifi, an interactive water feature, bicycle parking, public art and exotic and native planting.

Jerry van Eyck (partner at West 8) stated to the residents that they are looking for an identity for the park and that due to the parks small size the park could not have everything. Eyck also stated that it doesn’t matter how beautiful the park is and it comes down to programming.

The project has a budget of $13 million and should be completed by January 2011 for the opening of the concert hall.

The next stage of the project is another public meeting in the next few weeks with a preliminary design presentation based on the charrette.

NEWS SOURCE: Miami Herald

A sustainable park grows in Allston – The Boston Globe

A sustainable park grows in Allston – The Boston Globe

Harvard University planners, Boston redevelopment officials, and a Cambridge landscape design firm are working together to reincarnate the 1.74-acre space, behind the Honan-Allston branch of the public library, into a “sustainable’’ park……

Michael Van Valkenburgh, head of the landscape architecture firm [Michael Van Vlakenburgh Associates] designing the park, said Library Park’s green features won’t be obvious to most people.

SOURCE: The Boston Globe – A sustainable park grows in Allston

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