Parks Need Buildings, Too—A Silver Spring Transit Center Case Study

As the long-awaited Silver Spring Transit Center continues construction, voices in the community want to consider a park adjacent to the forthcoming Metro stop. Dan Reed writes, however, that the area might not be well suited for a park.

Montgomery Planning Board chairman Gus Bauman is among those calling for planners to examine the possibility of building a park adjacent to the forthcoming (and overdue) Silver Spring Transit Center. Dan Reed, however, makes an argument against that idea—pointing to the area’s poor edge conditions as a reason why a park wouldn’t succeed in the area.

“It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, creating great parks in urban areas means more buildings. Silver Spring needs a critical mass of people and stuff to generate the activity needed to give our streets and parks life.”

Moreover, Reed argues that sometimes too many parks can create unwanted gaps in the urban experience: “Meanwhile, too many bad parks have instead created big, gaping holes in our downtown, sucking out activity and life.”

Full Story: It takes more than open space to make a great urban park


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