Even Parks Are Going Online During the Pandemic

Parks departments in New York City and Pittsburgh are offering videos and livestreams to cooped-up residents.

April 10, 2020, 6:00 AM PDT

By rkaufman

Just as parents are trying in earnest to create a sense of normalcy for children during COVID-19, city parks departments are repurposing their services, staff, and spaces to do the same. Shortly after schools closed indefinitely in New York City, the Department of Parks and Recreation pushed out their “Parks at Home” initiative — an online portal virtually bringing environmental education and recreation to viewers, from the comfort of their homes.

“With libraries, schools, movie theaters, restaurants, gyms, and bars closed, people are realizing the value of parks now more than ever,” said Mitchell Silver, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

As images of clustering New York park-goers incite outrage on social media and at press conferences, some push for the city to close its parks entirely. Silver says a decision like that would be made in conjunction with health officials and the mayor. But in the meantime, he encourages safe, socially distant walks outside, or the option to enjoy the outdoors virtually. “When New Yorkers can’t make it out to our parks, we’re bringing the parks to them.”

Silver explains how Parks at Home covers everything from virtual walks and meditation exercises, to regularly recurring live talks with park rangers. A typical talk might touch on the history of Central Park landmarks, the lives of animals in Queens County Farm Museum, or the science behind the parks’ 17 different species of evergreen trees.

More at the source article...

Thursday, April 9, 2020 in Next City

Chicago Commute

Planning for Congestion Relief

The third and final installment of Planetizen's examination of the role of the planning profession in both perpetuating and solving traffic congestion.

May 12, 2022 - James Brasuell

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

Complete Street Vancouver

Study: Most of Vancouver Is a ‘15-Minute City’

A large majority of Vancouver residents can access a grocery store in 15 minutes or less by bicycle or on foot.

May 20 - Vancouver Sun

Montreal, Quebec

Urban Design, Transport, and Health

The Lancet medical journal published a series of articles that explore how to evaluate and guide urban planning decisions to create healthy and sustainable cities. Live long and prosper!

May 20 - The Lancet - Urban Design, Transport, and Health

MoGo Bikeshare Bikes

Detroit Bike Share Celebrates Five Years

In its five years of operation, Detroit’s MoGo bikeshare has added electric and adaptive bikes to its fleet of more than 600 bikes.

May 20 - MoGo

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.