Roughly three decades ago, the U.S. Justice Department brought national attention to one of Chicago's open secrets. Park district officials lavished money on parks in white neighborhoods at the expense of those in African-American and Latino ones.
Silence reigns as black swans glide on a creek-fed pond, walkways zig-zag this way and that, and elaborately carved wooden pavilions provide much welcome shade. Walking to the garden's upper level provides a sweeping perspective of this idyllic arrangement.
"I think the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the High Line is a great example of the value of creative thinking in designing public spaces. So many cities in the world now want to create their own High Lines and are thinking about abandoned spaces in a new way."
Glasgow has been busy brushing the soot off its sandstone and washing behind its no-longer-industrial ears. What has emerged after decades of careful restoration is a Victorian city where you can breathe the beautiful air.
So while those VIP donors are enjoying their benefit luncheon on the Nation's Front Yard, we should all ask ourselves: should the National Mall be a manicured lawn with access limited to events with wealthy backers?
We humans have an intrinsic emotional need to connect with nature. Yet cities also, and fundamentally, need the structure of hardscape urbanism in sufficient density to achieve environmental and economic efficiency and nurture social bonds.
The rise of Pogo Parks deserves Hollywood treatment. Brilliant and improbable, vital and near triumphant. It's a story, though unfinished, that promises in its logic defying detail to warm hearts and change lives.
London is a pretty magical destination year-round -- the bustling streets, the royal residences, the magnificent museums -- but it's an especially wonderful place to visit during the spring as the city bursts into bloom.
Arlington, VA, is going to the dogs and to the seniors who like to stay in shape. Chula Vista, CA, is "sick" when it comes to skate parks. And the most heavily visited park in America is an old freight rail line.