Articles on Parks

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Sea Line Park, one of the shortlisted entries in the competition to design a new park for the Melbourne of 2050. Future Park Design Ideas Competition

Why we need ‘crazy’ ideas for new city parks

Some might scoff at the free-ranging ideas sparked by a competition to design future parks for Melbourne. But the legacy of a radical idea to green a CBD street in 1985 shows why we need such thinking.
Contact with nature reduces stress and aggression, one reason scholars say urban green space may reduce violence. Shutterstock

Can parks help cities fight crime?

Some parks reduce violence in the local vicinity. Other parks attract crime. The difference has to do with how these urban green spaces are designed, programmed and managed, experts say.
Parks are places where children make their own decisions, explore their imaginations and expand their abilities. Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

Why suburban parks offer an antidote to helicopter parenting

Parents are more willing to let children do their own thing in parks. It's a chance for children to make their own decisions, explore their abilities and imaginations, and weigh up risks.
Tiny Paley Park, surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, introduced the concept of a ‘pocket park’ in dense urban centers. Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

Research shows that access to urban green space makes people and neighborhoods healthier. But parks can't work their magic if their design ignores the needs of nearby communities.
A sculpture of William Ricketts looms over those of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men at the sanctuary in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Chris Haych/flickr

Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

A mossy sanctuary in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges houses 92 sculptures, mostly of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men, women and children. They are steeped in primitivism, yet the park is a popular tourist attraction.
Being in a park tends to make people feel more positive, although the time of day and the season also affect their moods. leungchopan/Shutterstock

Tweet all about it – people in parks feel more positive

The positive mood of tweets varies with time of day and season, but it's consistently higher in parks than in built-up areas, where people are more likely to express anger and fears.
Overflowing bins are one way to spoil the amenity of public space, but sensors can now alert councils when bins need emptying. Wikimedia

Sensors in public spaces can help create cities that are both smart and sociable

Researchers are installing sensors to collect data about the use of public spaces. This can improve the management and public amenity of these places, but will users see the technology as intrusive?
A photograph of Penn Station’s interior from the 1930s. Bernice Abbott

Remembering America’s lost buildings

We asked five architecture experts to name one building or structure they wish had been preserved, but couldn't resist the tides of decay, development and discrimination.

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