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The Fight Over New York City’s Washington Square Park

An article in the New York Times yesterday gives an interesting overview of the row that’s ensued in the past years over redesigning and changing New York’s well-known 10-acre Washington Square Park.

The article provides valuable insight into how or if park redesigns should be undertaken in such a situation, but also reveals how much parks can mean to residents of densely populated communities. With little private yard space, parks are the front and back lawns of residents. And residents have a shared ownership of these spaces. The article notes:

We all want to write our desires on New York. But in a metropolis of eight million overlapping voices, that is rarely possible. Public spaces like parks are a particular battleground, equally prized as green oases and places for personal expression.

In cities that are becoming more densely populated, where residents may be giving up their private yards for more public ones in parks, it is more likely that the concern over the form and character of the city’s parks will increase also.

One Response

  1. The resistant to change in any park is the norm. Local residents develop an emotional attachment that sometimes overides the real need for the redevlopment. This is usually something that changes over time as the changes are reviewed by the community and implemented by the Parks Department. the new generation then wonders what the fuss was about.

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