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How to classify 'quality' of a park

Messages
7
Points
1
Hello everyone...

as part of an urban design plan, i am looking at the proximity between high density residential development and open spaces/parks.

to simplify things for this post, i intend to use GIS to make a 0.5 mile buffer around these parks and encourage infill within the buffer. an issue however is that not all parks are equal. some parts are small and local, some are crap, whereas others are majestic!

how can i take this difference into account? how should i weigh the quality of the parks? for example, should i reduce the buffer to 0.1 miles for lesser parks? should i exclude parks that are smaller than a certain size?
 

luckless pedestrian

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11,263
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What you could do is create a color system (that's really a rating system {insert evil laugh here}) for the parks that has a list of criteria

so if the list has maybe this on it:

benches
shade trees
gathering space (as in benches facing each other or tables)
grassy area for sitting or playing
playground equipment in good shape
playground equipment in need of upgrade
water feature

or whatever else

then if a park has 1 to 3 things on it, it's one color, etc etc - so you can use the color system to determine the parks with enough going on that more infill will use the space

then the map gets to be useful in creating a park improvement plan so it's 2 plans in one!
 

DVD

Cyburbian
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13,556
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36
You can also take some random people counts at the different parks. If a park isn't being used it's a crap park. I don't care how many pretty trees it has.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
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24,579
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AIB luckless pedestrian post

level / number of amenities / capital investment

picnic shelter / grill or fire pit
kids playground
basketball court - hey I from Indiana w lights
pool - olympic, kiddies, splash
summer programs
exercise path/trail
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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I'll add perimeter along public street frontage as a major factor. Parks hidden behind backyards are functionally part of the private realm, serving as an asset or buffer to the neighboring property owners but not to the community at large. Neighboring property owners will "claim" such parks as part of their backyard, and discourage any activity more intensive than unprogrammed open space. I have one of these remnant-space-after-subdivision public parks touching a corner of my property line, and it's completely overgrown. I've never seen anybody back there.


(Not the park behind our house. Still, this kind of hidden remnant space park is the worst.)

Unfortunately, the powers that be at the community where I work sees it differently. They see hidden parks are "refuges from civilization" and mini-nature preserves. It can be lonely as the the only land use/urban design planner at an agency where everybody else has an environmental planning/science background.
 

Suburb Repairman

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I wouldn't focus on what the park is. I would focus on a park's potential. Infill development can provide the value-added to justify improvements to parks. Mitch Silver's work in NYC is a great example--he has managed to take some of the worst bombed-out Robert Moses hellhole parks, the ones that were actually contributing to blight and discouraging investment and turned them into special places now beloved by the communities.
 
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