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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pocket Parks

Amusement is important when talking a good walk. A smart view, a public park where one can see people congregating, frank window shopping, tree-lined sidewalks are key in design that refreshes the pedestrian.  

These views are not…

The first photo is a creek running under Bowling Av, Nashville, TN.  It is actually a lovely little creek - it has just been completely barricaded from view.  There are gnarly guard rails, cement enclosures and tons of weeds hiding it from view.  There is a actually a bit of sidewalk on the street-side of the guardrail suggesting it could be a destination.  Imagine this place re-envisioned as a small park…

The second & third photos are from a walk I recently did in Berry Hill around One Hundred Oaks. Vanderbilt Medical Center has an outpost here so I spend a significant amount of time in this area.  I don't get out to walk much in the area as my next post will expand upon.

  Despite spending so much time in the area, I never knew there was a lovely little creek snaking its way along Powell Rd in front of the many big box stores.  I can't even see this creek from the 3rd floor window because it is so completely hidden! 

The third photo shows a large barren space where Thompson Rd turns onto Powell that is perfect for either a tree filled grove or a pocket park.  

When I moved to Nashville in 2003 for NYC, I remember wondering, 'were are the parks?'  Greater than 10 years later, I still feel  Nashville is somehow deficient in public parks and yet there are wonderful places all over that are highly underutilized.  Imagine converting spaces like those above into parks…

“I end then in praise of small spaces. The multiplier effect is tremendous. It is not just the number of people using them, but the larger number who pass by and enjoy them vicariously, or even the larger number who feel better about the city center for knowledge of them. For a city, such places are priceless, whatever the cost. They are built of a set of basics and they are right in front of our noses. If we will look.” 

Why, then, have we hidden so many treasures away?

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