Peter Harnik Talks About Innovative Parks for Built-Out Cities

City Parks Blog asked Peter Harnik to answer questions about his new book, Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities, that covers how cities can plan for parks as well as how to create them in 'all built-out' settings.
July 15, 2010, 11am PDT | drstockman
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A number of questions were asked that park planner, advocates and others ponder and which Harnik's book addresses. One of the bigger questions always asked is "how much parkland should a city have?" Harnik indicates that, "Every city has a different geography, a different history and a different culture - it's not one size fits all. I think people sometimes use the word "should" in the hopes that someone else will do the work for them. No great park system was created solely by planners using official standards." Yet Harnik encourages cities to use comparisons to other cities, indicating that "If you take a trip to Boston or Minneapolis and like what you see, you can compare what your city has with them - everything from acreage to playgrounds to recreation centers to swimming pools."

Harnik also touches on the difference between conserving land for parks and redeveloping land for parks in compact cities. "In older cities that are 'all built out' there is nothing natural to conserve besides the already-existing parks. New parks there must be created through development rather than conservation.

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Published on Thursday, July 15, 2010 in City Parks Blog
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