An Ode to Central Park, and Urban Humility

A new anthology of musings by celebrated writers on Central Park has Frank Bruni thinking about the role of the park in the city, and the humility of urban life.

Echoing themes on the topic of urban manners discussed recently in Planetizen by Ken Greenberg, Bruni writes eloquently on the "common currency" of public spaces such as Central Park, and their connection to the sacrifices demanded by urban living.

"There's a contract to urban life, and it's inked in humility. We agree to sacrifice some of our own will and many of our own whims to what works best for everyone involved. The music is turned down. The poop is scooped. The line isn't cut. The smartphone is put on silent."

"And we trade away private spaces for public ones, which bring us together-force us together-in a manner that tests and ultimately refines our abilities to get along. While the country dweller has his property and the exurbanite his yard, we in New York have Central Park."

Thanks to Daniel Lippman

Full Story: The City’s Verdant Heart

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Wear your city with style!

100% silk scarves feature detailed city maps. Choose from six cities with red or blue trim.
$55.00