Thursday, 11 December 2014

Parks for all

Central Park at Sunset
Over the course of the study tour we visited 3 vastly different parks, Central Park, The Chelsea Highline and Brooklyn Bridge Park. I was expecting three fairly regular parks like you see in Australia, you've seen one park you've pretty much seen them all, some open space and a playground.

 This was not the case in any of the parks, each of these parks were vastly different in size but also in their function and right down to the conceptual level. Central Park is enormous in scale and was designed to allow residents of New York City to escape the city or the concrete jungle as its known without having to travel too far. Central park has many areas that fulfill many purposes, places for running, places to see and be seen and places to play various sports. Central park evoked the most feeling in me as someone who likes wide open spaces and was starting to feel a little stir crazy being in New York.

Then there is the Chelsea Highline, which is based on the opposite of this concept, it allows New York residents and tourists to celebrate the city as it is a park built on repurposed elevated  train tracks, between buildings. I found this park something novel as I'd never seen anything like it before, and I liked how art was incorporated with the park as was the original train tracks which shows how this park was creatively designed for New York.

Lastly, was Brooklyn Bridge park, which is conceptually between the previous parks as it offers partial escape from the city (being in Brooklyn) but still allows for celebration of the city as that is the main view.  Visiting in winter is not ideal because a lot of the features of Brooklyn Bridge park such as sports fields and playgrounds are minimally used which I think would detract from the usual and intended ambiance of the park, though I still wanted to play on the equipment.

I think that these parks all play an important role in New York City as a whole as well as a creative city as all three parks are creative in the use of nature and landscape architecture. Also these parks, moreso Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park allow space where people can meet and relax which can help foster creativity.

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