Category Archives: Parks

The Bay Area Park Squeeze

Around San Francisco Bay, land is scarce and costly. And people have opinions.

By Peter Harnik and Ryan Donahue

Doyle Hollis Park. Courtesy Trust for Public Land.
Doyle Hollis Park. Courtesy Trust for Public Land.

Emeryville, California, squeezed between Oakland, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Bay Bridge, has 10,000 residents and 20,000 daytime workers on only 1.2 square miles of land. For most of the 20th century it was an industrial center, known for meatpacking plants and a Sherwin-Williams paint factory. It has since evolved into a shopping destination and a hub for biotech and software. Continue reading The Bay Area Park Squeeze

The Green Carpet

LAM-Aug2013-Grounds-Mall
Photo courtesy National Park Service

The first section of The Mall’s new lawn is looking good, and so far, shrugging off heavy use.

By Linda McIntyre

In December 2006, as the National Park Service was starting up the process of developing its National Mall Plan, Susan Spain, ASLA, and Alice McLarty, who are landscape architects with the park service, took me on a tour. As we walked along the rock-hard compacted soil underneath the iconic, yet worn and weedy, lawn panels of the Mall (the tree-lined central axis of the wider National Mall in Washington, D.C.), Spain and McLarty told me how the park service hoped to overhaul the site’s decrepit infrastructure, including, incredibly, the turf (see “Pall Over the Mall,” LAM, April 2007). Continue reading The Green Carpet

How Sweet

There’s no swimming at Canada’s Sugar Beach, but the crowds come anyway.

By Daniel Jost, ASLALAM-Jan2013-SugarBeachSkyline

 It’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or, as they say here in Toronto, a balmy 27 degrees. Stephanie McCarthy leans back in a white Adirondack chair and digs her feet into the sand. On Canada’s Sugar Beach she’s just a short walk from her downtown apartment, though as she sits in the shade of a pink umbrella, it seems a little unreal. “It feels like you’re somewhere tropical,” she says, “like a minivacation.” Continue reading How Sweet

Parklets, Everywhere

As parks the size of postage stamps pop up all over San Francisco and spread to other cities, “tactical” urbanism is taking on a cannily strategic edge. 

By John King, Honorary ASLA

SF Planning.

If you’re a tourist who’s visiting San Francisco, you’re unlikely to find yourself on the 4600 block of Noriega Street near the Pacific Ocean, and until recently there’s been little to miss. Continue reading Parklets, Everywhere

Your Tent has No First Amendment Rights

Park design, regulation, and the Occupy protests.

By Lydia DePillis

Sarah Stierch

As the Occupy movement mushroomed around the country last October, most aspiring activists didn’t agonize over which patch of grass or concrete to take over in solidarity with those who were camping out on Wall Street. Continue reading Your Tent has No First Amendment Rights

Reparations Becomes a Park

The Port of Los Angeles wanted to move further inland. The neighbors said: We have a better idea. 

By Jennifer Zell, ASLA

The Arup designed cable-stayed pedestrian bridge has become an iconic image for the park. Photo by Craig Kuhner.

On the southern edge of the city of Wilmington, California, just before the Port of Los Angeles begins, lies the newly constructed Wilmington Waterfront Park. It will be remembered for some time, maybe this lifetime, maybe longer, as a place of contention. Continue reading Reparations Becomes a Park