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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Multi Use Infrastructure at Its Most Innovative

Multi Use Infrastructure at Its Most Innovative | green streets | Scoop.it

New York City is certainly willing to pay top dollar for excellent design with a new $3 billion water treatment plant taking shape in Van Cortlandt park in the Bronx. The Croton water treatment by Grimshaw Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architects includes some $250 million in new buildings, plazas, wetlands and meadows, and a public golf driving range, which, amazingly, sits right on top of the plant.

In a session at the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ken Smith, ASLA, Ken Smith Landscape Architects; David Burke, Grimshaw Architects; and Charles McKinney, Affiliate ASLA, City of New York, Department of Parks and Recreation, explained how the project is the result of NYC’s design, stormwater management, and parks policies. And while these numerous policies and design requirements were sometimes in conflict, said Smith, the design eventually succeeded because it cleverly integrated security and stormwater management features with public amenities...

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Adventure Playgrounds & Mutli-Use Destinations

Adventure Playgrounds & Mutli-Use Destinations | green streets | Scoop.it

There has been a recent burst of interest in adventure playgrounds, which “depend on ‘loose parts,’ such as water, sand, balls, and other manipulable materials.” Thoughtful articles from The Guardian‘s Justin McGuirk, Kill Screen‘s Yannick LeJacq, and Cabinet magazine’s James Trainor have each explored the history of this movement within the past couple of months, revisiting everything from Aldo van Eyck’s work in Amsterdam following WWII, to the unique cast of characters behind the surge of interest in London and New York in the 1960s.

To see so much solid new writing on this subject should be encouraging to anyone who hopes to see kids playing amidst wood chips again. Unstructured play is having a moment, and moments are meant to be capitalized on.

 

Cities are where us “grown-ups” play at leading meaningful and enjoyable lives, so it may be helpful (if anecdotal) to think of playgrounds as the staging areas for the cities of tomorrow. If we want to live in siloed cities, with offices here, houses there, and all quarters safely demarcated by wide arterial roads, we should probably go right on ahead building playgrounds where the slides and plastic tic-tac-toes cower away from each other. But if we want bustling, creative cities full of the surprise and serendipity that makes urban life so enjoyable, we might want to start thinking about playgrounds as microcosmic multi-use destinations...

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Donna Sharp's comment, July 26, 2012 3:25 AM
I think that the idea of adventure playgrounds is a wonderful idea; I even think that my two little boys would have the time of their lives there but I also think that there is a time and place for playgrounds of this type. I do not think that school yard playgrounds should be fully converted to such because the schools and districts first need to think about the children’s safety and it would be implausible to have enough adult supervision during recess.