Parks Without Borders: Creating a Seamless Public Realm

A very important discussion of how to make parks feel like part of the city and not just pieces of land tucked away for kids or dogs.
Even in a lush city like Seattle, where I live, some of the parks are integrated into people’s every day commutes or habits, while others are beautiful but tucked away and hard to get to. They are slowly moving to add more centralized open spaces for communities as they see the economic benefits like increase in real estate values, as well as events like farmer’s markets and other festivals.


Rocky Run Park / Flickr Rocky Run Park, Arlington, Virginia / Flickr

“Parks are not islands that exist in isolation, they are connected to streets, sidewalks, and public spaces,” said NYC parks commissioner Mitchell Silver. “It’s our goal to create a seamless public realm for New York City.” The Parks Without Borders discussion series kicked off last week to a standing-room only crowd in Central Park’s Arsenal gallery. The enthusiasm generated by the Parks Without Borders summit held last spring inspired Silver to build the momentum with a series of shorter discussions. For this one, park leaders from three different cities, each with a uniquely successful park system, were invited to address the question: How can innovative park planning create a more seamless public realm?

Every day, 25,000 people go to work at the Pentagon, and the majority of these people live in Arlington, Virginia. How has a county that is both transit-oriented and a…

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