Need a park in your neighborhood but don’t have any space? According to a recent article by Peter Harnik and Aric Merolli, one place to look is the large number of urban water reservoirs sitting inside cities. With new regulations requiring municipalities to cover reservoirs or institute water
filtration systems, new “land” is being created for parks in several cities around the country.
Most exciting is Seattle’s Cal Anderson Park, where two-thirds of the eight-acre park in Seattle’s most densely populated neighborhood was occupied by a reservoir. Today, the site is the relaxation destination for the Capitol Hill neighborhood and is quite possibly the most used park per acre in the city. (The great design by the Berger Partnership didn’t hurt this.)
The article discusses some of the tracks taken by other cities to keep or open up reservoir sites to the public, including preserving them as water features. Given the fact that they occupy large tracts of land, the idea of co-locating parks makes a good deal of practical sense.