I didn't grow up in Prospect Park. My neighborhood park was Riverside, and Central Park was where I sometimes went on weekends as a child. Prospect Park was, to me, a mythical land in distant Brooklyn, across the East River and reachable only by a long trip on the subway.
Nationally, in the wake of urban growth and renewal, there is considerable debate about whether public parks and open space should be given away or sold to for-profit enterprises. Are they valuable civic resources or just places to put stuff?
Like most Detroiters, I have a special fondness for Belle Isle. I've lived close to the Detroit River since 2005, and even when I don't walk or bike on the island or enjoy the solitude, which I do fairly often, knowing that our island sanctuary is there provides respite to the soul.
Two new sites in New York -- the 9/11 Memorial and the newly relocated home of Alexander Hamilton -- definitely raise questions about authenticity in the context of how we may manage a landscape's transformation.
New York under Bloomberg and his DOT is remaking itself into a city known for its parks, open space and complete streets philosophy that recognizes the role the roads play for drivers, buses, pedestrians and bikers.