Since ancient times, parks have been places where people gather for a great variety of reasons, and are iconic elements in the development of signature cities. Parks and playgrounds also make a significant appearance on the list of places that people have fond memories: places where they first met an old friend, played a legendary game of catch, played a prank on someone, fell in love, and the list goes on.
Link It: Put it along a path and people will linger. When parks are on the way to something else, a more prominent destination or a necessary one, they become receptacles of spillover activity. A rest stop on the way, given the public nature of these facilities, is easily done when the opportunity exists. Trees and enticing benches slow down passersby, which make for exciting people-watching in busier cities with heavier foot traffic.
Take the Fence Down: Open the park to the public. This strategy changed the fate of Bryant Park. The fence should be the first thing to go unless absolutely essential, like if a section is reserved for dogs. Even though it may not be opaque, the idea of having to walk an extra quarter mile just to find the gate is more effort than most want to put into the optional activity. Open it up. The fence keeps the bad people away is a myth; those who are bad will find ways to get in, regardless.
The Understated Space: Let human instinct shape the activity, rather than the space. Sometimes it is the under-design that brings more people back than the over-design. People like choices and the option to do different things in the same space to break up the monotony; hence, every neighborhood park should have under-developed areas in addition to the things that the designers deem worthy of being placed there. The intricacy and the lack of it are both influential in the social life of parks.
These ideas are a small contribution to the list of solutions for retrofitting, renovating, and rebuilding parks into the social foci they deserve to be. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us.
For your community to reap the benefits of parks and recreation areas fully, these places must have attractive designs, accessible amenities and play areas for everyone. Learn about the importance of parks and playgrounds and how they can be beneficial additions to your community.
Community parks are located in cities or towns and their purpose is to accommodate a wide range of recreation needs based on the surrounding community. These recreational parks have many activities and amenities to keep visitors of all ages active and engaged for an entire day.
Parks may have nature trails, swimming pools, splash pads, basketball courts, tennis centers, volleyball courts, thematic playgrounds and more features. Community parks also commonly feature picnic areas and pavilions and other additional facilities like bathrooms, parking, indoor recreation space, event space and on-site park attendants.
The benefits of parks make them irresistible to surrounding residents. In urban areas, community parks may be one of the only options for residents to enjoy nature and be active. In addition to the variety of amenities, community playgrounds and parks are beneficial in many other ways:
Parks are beneficial to humans for many reasons, and they are also beneficial to native plants and animals. Especially in urban areas like cities, parks are an effective area to encourage native flora and fauna to grow. This will make the area more inviting and safe for wildlife to enjoy, as well.
Parks and playgrounds can become the hearts of communities, meaning community planners should make these recreation areas high priorities. Parks are more than green spaces that beautify a community. Residents, kids and local governments all benefit from the creation of a local park or play space.
Public parks can encourage people to take control of specific aspects of their physical health or experience general health benefits for stronger, healthier communities. Parks and recreation areas can also help improve mental health, allowing the wellness benefits to extend past encouraging better physical health. Frequently visiting parks can help reduce depression and anxiety, and exercising in parks can reduce stress and lower cortisol levels by 15%. Simply viewing nature-inspired scenery led to reports of less fear and anger and more considerable attention and peacefulness.
When people have a park nearby, they can access open outdoor spaces easily for a healthier, more active lifestyle. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that less than 50% of Americans live within half a mile of a park, and even fewer live in an area where they can safely walk or access public spaces. Investing in community parks can provide most Americans the access they need to public outdoor spaces where they can freely exercise and decompress from their daily lives.
One study argues that even just one hectare of trees can remove up to 40.7 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. While the range will depend on the type of tree and its age, community spaces like parks that include trees can help bring environmentally-friendly solutions into cities and neighborhoods.
Those interactions then form the basis of community. Separate families and individuals can bond together with the intention to help their surrounding community and fellow community members. Creating a communal space like a park can help bring all members of the community together to build a better sense of unity and decrease feelings of isolation. People can interact with neighbors and community members, sparking unique and meaningful connections.
Getting kids to play has risen to such high levels of importance that doctors prescribe time outdoors for some patients as part of a push by the National Recreation and Park Association. Pediatricians have recognized the advantages of a park for their patients.
How can you bring kids to a park? Build them playgrounds that excite them. Think thrilling slides and climbing nets. With the latest equipment, kids can play out their adventurous fantasies while they slide and climb through a variety of challenging structures, like those from the XGEN® line.
Homeowners view parks as a desirable amenity. Because of this, property values increase the closer homes are to a recreational space. With increased property values comes the potential to bring in more property taxes, giving your city funds to further enrich the area.
For example, a study conducted on New York City and its several parks showed that park access and proximity helped raise home values by $15.2 billion in the city. Further, homes closer to the parks increased more in property value, making these locations more desirable to people looking to live in the city.
Prices people will pay for homes closer to parks also increase. People are willing to spend more for an inner-city home located closer to a park because of the health and social benefits it provides. Greenbelts next to residential communities increase the prices people will pay for homes. Natural areas pay in real estate both for the homeowners and the local government, helping boost the local economy and add value to green spaces in cities and suburbs.
The environmental benefits of parks are equally as important as the health benefits. Public parks give developers the chance to plant indigenous flora and entice native fauna to the area. Residents get to see what plants grow naturally in the region, while caretakers reap the benefits of needing to provide less care to plants adapted to the climate. Conserving wildlife in parks helps to sustain nature, even in the most populated, urban areas.
In Louisville, Kentucky, the city perceives the importance of parks and recreation areas as conservation areas. These parks serve as stopping places for migrating birds and safe spaces for wildlife in the city. The city had 4,000 acres in a floodplain turned into natural space that would bring wildlife to the area.
Animals are not the only ones who benefit from wildlife conserving parks. With more wildlife in the parks, residents flock to these green areas to engage in animal spotting and bird watching. When residents see native birds and animals up close, they may become more likely to promote conservation and volunteer for nature preservation programs, especially if the park promotes such opportunities.
Studies with different groups and communities in New York City show that parents feel safe at parks with their kids when amenities are available. Parks with regular upkeep, maintenance and services can help create safe gathering spaces for all ages.
Kids who engage with others of differing abilities from themselves increase their positive feelings for others. Playgrounds and parks serve as community spaces where kids of all backgrounds can gather and play together. When kids play with other kids on the playground, they can learn to respect different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences. Parks provide a space where kids with disabilities can play with other kids, helping foster greater senses of empathy and meaningful connections.
Free is always the perfect price, especially for families looking for fun without breaking the bank. Installing recreational areas in neighborhoods offers residents a place to take their kids without spending too much.
It can be difficult to keep kids entertained. Luckily, community parks can be a fun, cost-effective way to keep kids occupied. Parks, especially those with innovative playgrounds, give parents a break from the usual routine, and kids get the chance to release their energy. Regardless of the number of kids in a family, a trip to the park is easy on a family budget.
Free fun fits into any income. While amusement parks and other attractions are exciting ways to get out of the house, they often come at a high price. These options may be off the table for large families looking for a day trip on a budget. Having recreational areas in neighborhoods and local parks for kids ensures all families have the opportunity for a great time outside. 2b1af7f3a8