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Tapping Reservoirs as City Parks

Cal Anderson Park, City of Seattle

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

The water feature above the water of the reservoir in Cal Anderson Park, (cc: flickr user djwudi).

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.

2 Responses

  1. […] as parkland. For some U.S. cities who have had success with reservoir parks, see an earlier post. Padding Reservoir Gardens also reminds us of elevating parks, another unique way of creating […]

  2. […] before how reservoirs can be used as city parks, with some photos of the famed Cal Anderson Park. […]

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