Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Lake Anne's Washington Plaza in Summer

Monday, January 14, 2013

Urban Population Growth Creates New Demand for Parks, Sustainable Cities Collective, April 6, 2012

Forecasts suggest cities will continue to grow over the next several decades, as empty-nesting baby-boomers retire to cities and the Millennials, who are known to prefer urban living, move into their first homes.
Central Park, New York
Credit: NYC.gov
All of this is good news for city parks.  As American cities continue to grow, so will the demand for high-quality parkland accessible to urban neighborhoods.  Density creates park demand, and parks attract density.  Perhaps for these reasons, notable downtown residential growth in recent years has occurred in tandem with major investments in urban parks, from Cincinnati to Denver to Houston.

While there are certain park functions for which density creates challenges, such as habitat preservation, park environments are largely improved by dense and diverse activity and use.  Urban observer and advocate Jane Jacobs was the first to suggest that parks are vacant spaces enlivened by the presence of urban activity.  Over the subsequent decades, the broader community of urbanists has continued to pursue this axiom, as well as its counterpart, that density requires the presence of open space.  . . .
 This post by City Parks Blog is available here.  

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