Urban Fold

Finding Ways to Create "Emerald Necklaces" in Built-Out Cities

A string of connected parks laced through cities has been a vision of city planners since the days of Olmsted. Ben Welle of the Center for City Park Excellence has some ideas how that that vision can be implemented today.

Welle details how rail corridors, waterfronts and stream corridors, easements, underused streets, bike boulevards and cycle tracks can be used to connect parks into a network.

Welle writes, "All of these ways can be used to create linkages - one system may include an old rail corridor, a stream or river, an existing parkway and upgrading streets where none of those are possible.

Years ago, Frederick Law Olmsted remarked that no one should be a long walk's time from parkways, and that the citizens using them, whether going to and from a park, or to and from some form of business, may gain some 'substantial recreative advantage.' Today, it's not that different of a story."

Full Story: Getting Park Connectivity in Built-Out Cities



Connectivity important, as is setting

Connectivity is a very worthwhile goal, particularly from an ecological perspective- providing continuous wildlife habitat.

I think the setting of parks is very important for the user. In one small city in upstate NY, the large city park that features waterfront trails and woods, runs along a major highway. You simply can't get away from the loud trafffic noise of the highway- and everyone needs to be able to get away from this, even if they choose to live in an urban region.

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