Sometimes small towns are the communities pushing the envelope on innovation.
But the true innovation comes from the sustainable infrastructure used to create the traffic roundabout. Apparently the water in the public fountain is actually cleansed and re-circulated stormwater from five main streets leading to the traffic circle. Although not safe for drinking, it is perfectly fine for toe-dipping as these kids would gladly testify. And as soon as those London plane trees grow a little more fuller, I imagine this will be a relaxing place for a good book or a picnic.
We’ve posted before about how parks can be great green places, regardless of size. Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle is a nice example of a vibrant urban park that is heavily used in the midst of a busy downtown.
The new Circle in Normal is only one component of the city’s plans for redevelopment of the downtown area. As the residents of Normal find increasing popularity in their new park, perhaps now is a good reminder of the five characteristics of Great Green Places:
- Landscape: a place that is successful uniting site planning and landscape design;
- Mixed Use: a place that demonstrates a variety of retail, housing, and commercial uses;
- Sense of Place: a place that physically embraces its history and culture;
- Streetscape: a place that is pedestrian-friendly with activated public spaces; and
- Transit Options: a place that encourages and supports multiple forms of transportation including subway, bus, and biking.
It’s only when looking at sustainability from a holistic view, can we truly see the transformation in a community.
For more pictures and technical details regarding the Circle in Uptown Normal, visit the Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects website.