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Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PAS 497/498)

A Twenty-First Century Agenda

By Alexander Garvin

A distinguished planner's reflection on how to make parks an essential cornerstone of great communities in the 21st century.

Published by APA Planning Advisory Service, 2000

Format: Paperback, 72 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-884829-54-3

Quick order code: P497

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What, exactly, is a park? What role have parks played in cities, and what will they need to be in the new economics and society of 21st century America?

To answer these questions, noted planner and planning educator Alexander Garvin first describes the parks agenda of Frederick Law Olmsted, which dominated the design of American parks for over a century, until the last 50 years of suburbanization so radically changed the nation's landscape and society. Parks and open space, once thought of as essential to public life and an important government responsibility, are now often regarded as amenities that can be done without.

In order to develop a new agenda that fits the economics, needs, and expectations of Americans in this century, Garvin studied the details of successful parks and open space projects throughout the country. He distilled a set of principles to guide the actions of public and private leaders in all aspects of park, recreation, and open space development. His ideas-many of which challenge existing practices and conventional wisdom-fit new times and circumstances in America. This beautiful report is extensively illustrated with plan drawings and the author's own color photographs of parks across America.

Parks, Recreation, and Open Space was sponsored in part by the City Parks Forum (CPF), a fellowship of mayors, their park advisors, and community leaders that encourages collaboration and exchange of ideas about the role of parks in communities. The CPF is administered by the American Planning Association and supported in part by the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. It is the first in a series of three reports by the City Parks Forum. The second report is Parks and Economic Development (PAS 502) by John L. Crompton.

Table of Contents