Alexander Lumber | Champaign, IL

How Neighborhood Parks Have Changed

Andrew Bremer, AICP | with 0 Comments

How Neighborhood Parks Have Changed

Neighborhood and school playgrounds have changed dramatically since they were first introduced in the 20th century. Playgrounds are now a responsibility for local governments, making safety a priority when civil engineers and urban planners are designing.  They’ve changed not only in the construction materials (from metal to wood to plastic), but also in the way they’re becoming more accessible and inclusive. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is developing materials to make playgrounds just as accessible to the elderly and people with disabilities as they are to people without physical limitations.

Davenport-Iowa-Prairie-Heights-Park-(2).jpgNot only do parks and playgrounds help people find recreation and leisure in the community, they revitalize neighborhoods. In 2008, the National Recreation and Park Association began working on an urban park project called “Parks Build Community.” The premise of the project was to demonstrate the value of adding parks to communities that didn’t have parks, in an effort to show the immense impact of parks have on each community’s sense of self. Over a two-year span, as a result of this “Parks Build Skate-Park-Lake-Delton-WI-(1).jpgCommunity” effort, a Washington D.C. neighborhood received more than a quarter million dollars from suppliers, manufacturers and businesses to rebuild its park.
Here at MSA, we value the importance of parks and recreation. MSA led the design team that created plans for Madison residents to enjoy their own Central Park, which includes a network of bicycle and pedestrian paths, a restroom pavilion and a large performanceMauston-Wisconsin-Riverside-Park-Accessible-Pier.jpg plaza space.  MSA also designed improvements at Mauston’s Riverside Park including an accessible band shelter, riverwalk, fishing dock, and playground equipment.
Parks and recreation are fundamentals that every community should embrace. Learn more about enhancing communities through the planning development and parks and recreation sections of our website. Contact MSA’s Andrew Bremer, AICP for more information.

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