All parks are not equal. The response to the opening of golf courses to the public during the COVID pandemic shows the quality of green open space is a big issue for city residents.
Finding a washroom during either a pandemic or a protest within a pandemic is an issue about how free and accessible our urban spaces are.
Public washrooms are an essential service and the people who maintain them are essential workers. But what happens when a pandemic closes public bathrooms and a civil rights protest breaks out?
COVID-19 has upturned uses of public spaces that we took for granted. Will shifts in the regulation of these spaces lead to a change in thinking about who “owns” the city?
Working long hours and want to make the most of time with your children? Your local park is an ideal place for sharing experiences that benefit the whole family.
The lure of suburbia clearly remains strong. To deal with sprawl, planners need to increase urban density in a way that resonates with the leafy green qualities of suburbia that residents value.
Residents of the 'leafy suburbs' will continue to fear what they might lose to increasing urban density without an explicit planning approach that enhances green space in affected neighbourhoods.
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
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.
Parks are places where children make their own decisions, explore their imaginations and expand their abilities.
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.
Downtown Seattle’s busy, protected bike lanes.
Seattle Department of Transportation
This collective fundraising technique helps defuse anti-cyclist sentiment before it dooms protected bike lanes and other new infrastructure.
Poor quality and access are common barriers to young people using parks.
An observational audit found almost all of the parks in Sydney's inner west were substandard. But perhaps even more important was the issue of access.
A public barbecue in Lyndhurst, New South Wales, does the job but could be so much better.
The need for public cooking facilities has long been recognised, but why has the basic public barbecue failed to evolve along with Australians, their lifestyles and the foods they eat?
Being in a park tends to make people feel more positive, although the time of day and the season also affect their moods.
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.
The Wray Avenue Solar Parklet by Seedesign Studio is in Fremantle.
Many parklets are privately funded, but these projects often allow for more public participation than more traditional public spaces.
Local authorities have hit tough times, but there's still hope for the UK's parks.
Providing green space can deliver health, social and environmental benefits for all urban residents – few other public health interventions can achieve all of this.
Urban green spaces are most effective at delivering their full range of health, social and environmental benefits when physical improvement of the space is coupled with social engagement.
Apartments near the greenbelt in Vienna are more expensive than otherwise similar apartments in that city.
Australia’s growing cities face a shortage of urban parks. Often, the provision of parks is seen only as planning compliance or an accessory.
PARKing Day in Montreal, 2015.
This Friday is the 11th PARKing Day, when people pay a parking meter, then turn the space into a pop-up parklet. It's a day that invites citizens to rethink the city and their place in it.
Tracking what you stop to pay attention to and what you ‘don’t see’ can tell us a lot about what might be going on inside your mind.
Eye-tracking technology helps us understand how people interact with their environment. This can improve policy and design, but can also be a tool for surveillance and control.
From music festivals to motor racing –commercial events are taking over public parks. Here's what can be done.
Brian Halsey, 'Novem II,' 1981, 8 Color Silkscreen Serigraph
Many praise the internet as a democratizing force. But with online spaces replacing physical public squares as places for debate, what do we risk losing?
Open public spaces are good for mind and body – we shouldn't have to pay to use them.