Planning for the Rising American Interest in Soccer

Increasing amounts of Americans are soccer players, and the parks and park planners in American cities are beginning to reflect the sport's growing popularity, according to this piece from the Regional Plan Association.

The article looks at both the growing demand and the variety of users of such recreational space.

"Not only does this new population of soccer players put a certain type of new demand on grassy public space, but even within this diverse group of players, different sub-groups place different demands on field space. Youth soccer leagues require organized space that can be easily managed by coaches, while those playing casually often need to be able to show up at a field and play whenever they can bring together the needed number of people. For others, playing soccer in a public open space can simply be a way of building community and staking out a part of the public arena.

Those in charge of parks have the challenge of investing in facilities that respond to a variety of residents' current interests and activities while, at the same time, balancing that responsiveness with the flexibility to accommodate new uses in the future. This balance is reflected at the Pier 40 facility and should continue to be a critical component of all park design."

Full Story: Spotlight Vol. 9, No. 2: Accommodating the Rise of the World's Favorite Sport in America

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