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Parks: The Latest Architecture and News

Cultivating Non-Violent Cities: 10 Examples of Friendly Public Spaces

Violent cities result from social and economic inequality, which also affects the urban landscape and the way we live. International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, so we have selected a series of projects to reflect on non-violent ways of using public space.

Parque público en Tultitlán / PRODUCTORA. Image © Erick MendezBus Terminal and Urban Renovation in São Luís / Natureza Urbana. Image © Meireles JuniorPaprocany Lake Shore Redevelopment / RS + Robert Skitek. Image © Tomasz ZakrzewskiRed Planet / 100architects. Image © Amey Kandalgaonkar+ 14

What Role does Chess Play in Public Spaces?

Have you ever wondered why chess sets can be found in parks and other public spaces and contemplated what their role is within these spaces? Studies have shown that sports and games work to reduce stress and improve the overall mental health of the public. Chess, one of world's most popular games, allows two people from anywhere on the globe to play regardless of language barriers, age, gender, physical ability, or social situation.

6 Urban Design Projects With Nature-Based Solutions

Extreme natural events are becoming increasingly frequent all over the world. Numerous studies indicate that floods, storms, and sea-level rise could affect more than 800 million people worldwide, ultimately costing cities $1 trillion per year by the middle of the century. This suggests that urban survival depends on addressing urban vulnerability as a matter of urgency to protect the city and the population.

Project transforms empty spaces into urban farms in Roraima, Brazil. Image via CicloVivoQunli Stormwater Wetland Park / Turenscape. Courtesy of TurenscapeBishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Singapore. Image courtesy of Atelier DreiseitCity in Colombia transformed 18 roads and 12 waterways into a green paradise. Image courtesy of CicloVivo+ 15

Deck Parks are Increasingly in Vogue, But Are They Always a Good Fit?

"Deck parks are increasingly in vogue in the Southwest’s downtown cores but aren’t a good fit for El Paso," writes Sito Negron. Recently a lot of cities around the world have been rethinking urban spaces dedicated to transportation, introducing public areas over highways while expanding the vehicular realm. In this week's reprint from the Architect's Newspaper, the author explores the limits of this trend and questions its implementation in some cases.

Landscaping on an Urban Scale: 12 Linear Park Projects

Linear parks exist in many different contexts - along riversides, coastal areas, or inserted in the urban fabric - and represent a very particular type of public space that evokes the idea of a vector and, consequently, the sense of movement. However, they can provide more than just activities and programs associated with mobility, proving to be an appealing solution to the lack of spaces for leisure, contemplation, and relaxation in the most varied urban situations.

Below, we have gathered 12 examples of linear parks built in different parts of the world, illustrated by photographs and floor plans.

White Flowers Boulevard / Project Group 8 + PARK. Courtesy of AquabrandRequalification of the banks of the Avelames River / Luís Rebelo de Andrade. © Fernando Guerra | FG+SGSchelokovsky Hutor Forest Park / OGOROD. © Dima ChetyreWaterfront Park of Aiyi River / BLVD International. © Fang Jian+ 26

Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, Take Time to Reconnect with Nature

If you are in a place impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, spending 20 minutes experiencing nature in a park, street, or even your backyard can significantly reduce your stress levels. Just be sure to follow federal, state, and local guidelines and maintain social distancing of 6 feet or 2 meters. But even if you cannot or are unable to go outside, taking a break by opening a window and looking at a tree or plant can also help de-stress.

'Landslide 2020' Spotlights Women-Designed Landscapes and the Threats That They Face

The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has released its 2020 edition of Landslide, an annual in-depth report produced by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that profiles—and raises awareness of—a geographically diverse number of at-risk American parks, gardens, horticultural features, working landscapes, and “and other places that collectively embody our shared landscape heritage.”

12 Outdoor Art Spaces, Parks, and Landscapes that Have Reopened or are Reopening Soon in the US

As many Americans tentatively ease back into their museum- and park-going routines, numerous cultural institutions and public spaces are slowly coming back to life on a limited/adjusted basis after months of hibernation to greet them, with coronavirus precautions firmly in place. Meanwhile, large, indoor gallery-centered museums continue to plot their eventual returns. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, for example, plans to reopen in late August while the Getty Center in Los Angeles has still not announced its phased re-opening dates.

In many locales, a trickle of small but positive re-openings has taken place in recent weeks and/or are slated for mid-to-late July. With an eye toward public landscapes, open-air museums, and multifaceted art spaces with room to spread out, here’s a small sampling of places across the country that have reopened or expanded public access or are due to allow visitors in the very near future.

From a Complicated Present, Urban Reuse Parks Look to the Future

Metropolis catches up with the High Line Network, a consortium of North American reuse projects that has been sharing notes and best practices through the pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, the High Line Network—a group of North American infrastructure reuse projects founded in 2017—has been conducting regular teleconference calls among its members, comparing notes on operations and sharing best practices and advice with fellow members. With many open or planning to reopen soon, and as the pandemic continues, many observers expect these projects will become even more popular among the public, since they provide outdoor space where visitors can walk, bicycle, and safely enjoy themselves—usually at an appropriate distance from one another. Especially now, the network believes its constituent projects can deliver tremendous and much-needed social, health, environmental, and economic benefits.

Eastside Trail and Ponce City Market along the Atlanta BeltLine. Courtesy The SintosesArt along the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. Courtesy The SintosesDequindre Cut. Courtesy Detroit Riverfront ConservancyMurals along Dequindre Cut. Courtesy Detroit Riverfront Conservancy+ 13

Bird's Eye Gallery: Amusement Parks

Seeing the Earth from a great distance has been proven to stimulate awe, increase the desire to collaborate, and foster long-term thinking. Daily Overview aims to inspire these feelings — commonly referred to as the Overview Effect — through their imagery, products, and collaborations. By embracing the perspective that comes from this vantage point, the team believes they can stimulate a new awareness that will lead to a better future for our one and only home. Check out Daily Overview's Gallery of Amusement Parks and follow the team's work on their Instagram.

A Russian Parks Program Creates Over 350 Public Spaces and Nurtures Local Design Talent

Costing less than glitzier parks in Moscow, the Tatarstan initiative is revivifying the local design and manufacturing bases with a "teach a man to fish" approach.

In places without an established design force, there have historically been two opposing approaches at play: hire experts from abroad or nurture a local design community, a la “give a man a fish or teach him how to fish.” In the Russian republic of Tatarstan, located at the intersection between Europe and Asia, a recent Public Spaces Development Program has created over 350 parks in five years—by choosing the latter approach.

Children's play structure in Gorkinsko-Ometevsky forest, near Kazan. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of TatarstanKaban Lake embankment. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of TatarstanAn embankment on Kaban Lake in Kazan, Tatarstan’s capital city. Kaban consists of three lakes stretching north to south, with connected ducts. These are the largest in area in Tatarstan. The concept of this project was based on the creation of a single Kaban Lakes Water Park, uniting the three lakes’ embankments.. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of TatarstanCity Lake beach in Almetyevsk, a city of 156,000 about four hours southeast of Kazan. The city had lacked a comfortable outdoor area, prompting its inner-city lake to be cleaned and its shoreline redeveloped. A wooden path lines the water and strings together facilities like a fitness pavilion, open-air pool, sauna, playground, boat house, and more.. Image Courtesy of Foundation Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan+ 12

SURGE Combines High Aesthetics with Environmentally Oriented Technology

Chinese architect Mingfei Sun has designed an environmentally oriented urban hub for Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Titled SURGE, its natural aesthetics and technological forwardness are intended to communicate a J.M.W. Turner-esque awe for the power of nature, making it an oasis of high aesthetic and ecological value.

By the People, For the People: What is Public Architecture, According to our Readers

Aarhus Harbor Bath / BIG. Image: © Rasmus Hjortshøj
Aarhus Harbor Bath / BIG. Image: © Rasmus Hjortshøj

Last week, we asked our social media followers, "What does public architecture mean to you?" These thoughts are intrinsic to the architectural debate and come into play in various types of projects, especially in those related to the planning of common-use spaces in cities.

Sasaki Revitalizes Vacant Rail Yard to Create Florida's New Central Park

With the aim to create the self-proclaimed “Central Park of Lakeland,” global design firm Sasaki is converting Bonnet Springs Park in Central Florida from a former CSX railyards property to an ecological hub. Initially, a vacant brownfield, the site is currently undergoing environmental remediation to tackle the years of industrial damage, with plans to be open to the public by 2020.

Courtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of Sasaki+ 8