How to Build a Better Park

New Urbanist Peter Katz presents his guidelines for creating a popular urban park. First published in 1995, Katz's ideas still hold up.

Katz bemoans the "windswept plazas and sterile atria" created by corporate developments in downtowns across the country:

"A public park should look and feel truly public. Being bounded by streets or sidewalks on all sides is one sure way to communicate "publicness." The presence of civic buildings and monuments also reinforces this public character.

Conversely, spatial relationships get confusing when private houses or buildings back up to a park, without a clear public zone in between. This ambiguous edge fosters conflict between those who live next to the park, and others who come from the surrounding area. A better approach would be for houses to front the park, so that porches, front yards, and streets buffer the edge between public use and private enjoyment."

This is 1 of 5 tips Katz presents for making great urban parks.

Full Story: What makes a good urban park

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