"In cities such as St. Louis, Houston and Detroit - all victims of disinvestment in the 1960s and '70s - new parks are charged with spurring development and creating downtowns that are places to live, not just work. It's a role previously assigned to the '80s-era performing arts center and the '90s-era downtown sports venue. Thanks to parks' across-the-board appeal, wide diversity of uses and heavy programming, though, they may be the piece that ultimately completes the puzzle.
For visitors, these new downtown parks offer more than tantalizing glimmers of hope and welcome rays of sunshine. In St. Louis, world-class sculpture is the standout; in Detroit, a varied slate of live entertainment keeps things hopping; and in Houston, boccie courts and model boat racing offer a perfect afternoon of family fun."
This piece from The Washington Post profiles the three parks and their impacts on the cities.