Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How do you measure good parks?



A big yard is hard to find in Somerville, so neighborhood parks and playgrounds serve as surrogate yards for many residents. Above is a map that shows the locations of our parks and playgrounds (click here for a map that also includes dog parks and community gardens) along with the concentration of youth living in different neighborhoods. Certainly, youth aren’t the only ones using the parks, but it’s an interesting mash up.

There are other things we could look at, like:
·         How would you rate your access to parks?
·         How often do you go to the park?
·         Do park features match your needs?
·         Who uses the parks in your neighborhood?

Feel free to answer any of those questions in the comments section and to suggest your own way of looking at parks.

4 comments:

  1. I think my access is reasonable. I could walk to several of them pretty easily.

    The park I use most is at the Blessings of the Bay boathouse and the paths along the river. I will go a couple of times a month in the winter, more in the better weather. I will launch my kayak from the boathouse. I wish it was nicer in general, though.

    I like to watch the birds, and see the trees and other vegetation (I had no idea there were swans in my neighborhood for at least 10 years). But it's really loud traffic in some points on the path and isn't very soothing. You also have to wonder what you are breathing in from the auto exhaust.

    There's trash on the highway side too. Chain link fence is dreadful. But sometimes the river is pretty ripe too.

    Mostly there are dog walkers, some runners, cyclists, some walkers. But it's pretty sparse.

    I really would like the walk to be healthy, quiet, clean, safe, and soothing. It's not many of those things. It's too bad. It should be such a gem. What history--the first ship built in Massachusetts. Alas.

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  2. I'm in Ward 7 and access to parks is very limited. The section of Somerville with a comparable population density (above map) has 3 times the number of parks that we do. As a dog owner, I find the number of local parks or walks that can accommodate me and my dogs to be pitifully, shamefully few.

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  3. I live right by Trum Field which has a basketball court and two baseball diamonds. We also have a smaller park for the little ones which is very popular for stay-at-home Moms and Dads and nannies.

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