Neighborhood parks

Cooper Marcus, C., C.M., Watsky, E. Insley & C. Francis, 1997, Neighborhood parks, in: Cooper Marcus, C. & C. Francis, ‘People places’, Wiley & Sons, Ontario

  • Author : Cooper Marcus, C., C.M., Watsky, E. Insley & C. Francis
  • Year : 1997
  • English Title : Neighborhood parks
  • Published in Book : People places
  • Pages : 85-148
  • Abstract in English : The recommendations in this chapter are based on numerous park studies that observed activities, interviews, and analyzed what forms of design do and do not work for people. The guidelines are intentionally performance based rather than prescriptive, and they are presented as components parts that can be applied to a specific job or used to assess or develop a program for a park design. “A park is often considered an oasis of greenery in a concrete desert. For passersby as well as those who come into a park, its natural elements provide visual relief, seasonal change, and a link with the natural world. According to two major interviews of park use in San Francisco and London, the most frequently cited reason for park use was” contact with nature” In London, this motivation was cited more frequently by women than by men, by older than younger people, and by higher-income rather than lower-income users. Similarly, according to a study of heavily used midtown Manhattan park, the most frequently cited reason for the use was simply to relax and rest. When asked to describe these parks in tree words, more than half offered descriptions that could be classified under the general heading “park as retreat, using such words as greenery, nature, relaxing, comfortable, tranquil, peaceful, calm, urban oasis, and sanctuary”. (p. 89) This chapter offers guidelines and recommendations for the design of neighbourhood parks. It is dealing with: History and future of American / neighbourhood parks, the link between recreation and crime prevention, literature on parks, sociocultural differences in the use of urban parks. Design recommendations (and issues) pp. 89-113: need of a natural setting, need for human contact (overt and covert socialisation), special user group needs (elderly, disabled, preschool users, users aged six to twelve, teen aged users, typical activities (conventional, unconventional, antisocial), safety issues in parks. Park typology and ca. 15 Case studies of parks (successful features/unsuccessful features) pp. 113-142; References pp. 142-143. Design review checklist (151 points of attention: user needs, elderly persons, disabled people, preschool children, school-aged children, teenagers, typical activities, antisocial activities, safety issues in parks) pp. 144-148.