Its about People………..Stupid

I have been going on (ie boring the pants off every one) about this study along with a book titled ‘A Visual Approach To Park Design’ by Albert J Rutledge. For the web, Chicago city started an organisation called ‘Project for Public spaces’ which was inspired by Fred Kent one of Whyte’s assistants on the project below.  A massive resource of idea’s that i wished i looked into further before doing the document ( i skimmed the edges as lack of TIME like all of us). If i have a passion its making places that effect peoples lifes for the better on a daily basis. Which i realise Parks are one of them. Can you imagine Calverley becoming ‘A Place’ again? Sod the fancy stuff, get the basics right…..See below.

About PPS « Project for Public Spaces – Placemaking for Communities

So here is the video in question. Made in 1979 (when most of you less than a twinkling in somebody’s eye) but still relevant, like good music if the quality is there then its timeless. Thus this research video. An hour long, but totally fascinating. Applies to both parks, the low traffic flow of TW thus need to attract, and the high traffic of Jubilee, need to retain.

I would be interested on your thoughts.

For me, it was the answer to the big question, Why should anybody visit my park, or to put it another way, how do I make my park ‘A Place’ rather than a field?

On the third viewing (…sad I know) the point of ratio of human space. Too wide and the distance will not be to scale, and narrowness in not necessarily a deterrent. To finish, a quote from the great man himself,

“I end then in praise of small spaces. The multiplier effect is tremendous. It is not just the number of people using them, but the larger number who pass by and enjoy them vicariously, or even the larger number who feel better about the city center for knowledge of them. For a city, such places are priceless, whatever the cost. They are built of a set of basics and they are right in front of our noses. If we will look.” ‘William H.(Holly) Whyte (1917-1999)’

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, Washington, D.C.: The Conservation Foundation, 1980.

2 thoughts on “Its about People………..Stupid

  1. Thanks for posting the video Grant. Read the book about three years ago and I’ve been trying to find a second hand copy ever since. Never got to see the film, until now. I particularly like the moving chairs.
    I went to Freeway Park in Seattle when I worked there (Seattle, not freeway Park) back in the early 90’s. It was a great space then, in summer anyway, if you like concrete and water, but I never felt comfortable there, and I doubt we will see its’ like again. I got the feeling it was a designer making a statement rather than a place for people.


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