Using the Park to fill a need
Conceptual sketch of connection
1;1000 planUsing the Grounds to become a cross roads for desire lines (i.e.the shortest routes from A to B) that people will use. Connecting the various areas within TW, both past and present.
In particular the new shopping centre, with a bridge going directly (at an elevated level) to the park (with the bonus of underground parking being covered by the park).
This allows for retail, in particular the lunch time crowd to gather at the upper part of the park (see below). Circulation is important for choices and uses of the space. So, a short term stay in the upper park or a longer more relaxed exploration of the grounds. A return visit to a memorable spot, a concert, a visit to the restaurant at the top of the grounds, ice skating in the winter with the bonus of a nice hot brew from the cafe.
So we have got the people in the park, now for them to move around, explore
and discover what the park has to offer.
A big issue with parks is the simplistic view of what they should be. Too many Councils still hold onto the old Victorian view of a place to parade on a Sunday.
A park must function within the context that it resides. So in this a case, the fact that its in the middle of a busy town. So easy access for the brief and regular visiting crowd of lunch timers. Therefore, Provide food, somewhere to sit, to people watch (the most common sport in the world), to meet, (especially at a corner or a junction i.e. a place) and finally provide water, to watch and interact with.
None of this should be assumed to work, so the study below produced in 1980 in New York by the famous (or should be) Mr Holly Whyte will enlighten if the concept of place making is new to you.
All Town Planners, Urban Designers, Landscape Architects and Architects must and should watch this before undertaking ANY Project concerning public space.
From a previous blog
I have been going on about this study along with a book titled 'A Visual Approach To Park Design' by Albert J Rutledge. Chicago city started an organisation called 'Project for Public spaces' which was inspired by Fred Kent one of Whyte's assistants on the project below. A massive resource of idea's that I wished I looked into further before compiling the document ( I skimmed the edges as lack of TIME like all of us). If i have a passion its making places that effect peoples lifes for the better on a daily basis. Which I realise Parks are one of them. Can you imagine Calverley becoming 'A Place' again? Sod the fancy stuff, get the basics right.....See below.
So here is the video in question. Made in 1980 (when most of you less than a twinkling in somebody's eye ), but still relevant. Like good music if the quality is there then its timeless. Thus this research video. An hour long, but totally fascinating. Applies to both parks, the low traffic flow of TW thus need to attract, and the high traffic of Jubilee, need to retain.
I would be interested on your thoughts.
For me, it was the answer to the big question, Why should anybody visit my park, or to put it another way, how do I make my park 'A Place' rather than a field?
On the third viewing (...sad I know) the point of ratio of human space. Too wide and the distance will not be to scale, and narrowness in not necessarily a deterrent. To finish, a quote from the great man himself,
“I end then in praise of small spaces. The multiplier effect is tremendous. It is not just the number of people using them, but the larger number who pass by and enjoy them vicariously, or even the larger number who feel better about the city center for knowledge of them. For a city, such places are priceless, whatever the cost. They are built of a set of basics and they are right in front of our noses. If we will look.” 'William H.(Holly) Whyte (1917-1999)'
The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, Washington, D.C.: The Conservation Foundation, 1980.