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Author: Penrose Hallowell (Page 1 of 2)

City Parks: A Concrete Placebo

City Parks: A Concrete Placebo

Have you ever been to a major city? One with many massive skyscrapers that channel the wind and many roads and sidewalks that cover the earth with a layer of asphalt or concrete. At it’s essence, a city is an entirely new ecosystem on planet Earth created by humans. Within the towering skyscrapers and miles of concrete humans have chosen to create oases of nature within the seemingly unnatural walls of major cities. These oases are designed to imitate a natural setting filled with trees, grass, flowers, and sometimes smaller animals that one would find in nature. In reality, city parks are not a good reproduction of what really occurs in nature. Does the symmetry of the threes in the allée please you? Does the perfectly circular duck pond make you calm? Do the perfectly spaced flowers make you feel happy? Well while all of these may be true, all of them are in fact part of a bigger false representation of what being in the countryside is like. In reality all of these things are covering human designed architecture. In the following I will uproot the truth of city parks and how unnatural they truly are.

Purpose and Connection to Science, Technology, and Society
As more and more major cities emerge across the globe and existing cities magnify, the need for open and seemingly natural spaces within these concrete juggles is important in the layout of a city. In the past, landscape architects like Fredrik Law Olmsted designed city parks with the intent to break up the stale air between buildings and as a destination for people that wanted to breath a bit of seemingly fresh air while surrounded by plants and formations associated with natural environments. This ties directly into Science, Technology, and Society because it is a real-life example of how society uses the outcome of architectural and scientific plans that dictated a very ordered and mathematical variant of what we call natural.

Outline

City Parks: A Concrete Placebo

Get a picture of a city park above ground and below and put on left of title page
Get a picture of a forest/nature above ground and below and put on right of title page

Introduction I
Start broad
Give overall idea of what a city park is and does without giving away thesis
Make it enticing and add in the idea that nature is not formulated
Introduction II and Thesis
Hone in on core ideas and value that city parks give to the community
Directly and briefly say that these values do not demonstrate what nature does
Thesis

Body Paragraph I
Start by stating first core value of city parks (Gives people fresh air)
State why this does not prove to be true
Stale air from city funnels into park
Give example of Central Park in the Summer
Give example from source

Body Paragraph II Part I
Start by stating second core value of city parks (Makes people feel like they are in nature)
State why nature does not have formulation for human dictated athletics
All these things don’t occur in nature (maybe get pictures for each? Ask about this)
Allée example
Flower garden example
“Perfect” dirt example
Replacing natural dirt with artificial
Using fertilizer alot
Single species of grass/trees/bushes (monoculture example)
Elaborate a lot on this because it is very important
Again, state that these things don’t occur in nature
The idea of being in nature is not reflected in many current city parks

Body Paragraph II Part II
New part of previous but same core ideas as stated by last sentence
Center in on the idea of being in nature is not reflected in many current city parks
Refer/almost identical to thesis

Body Paragraph III
Use the core ideas from previous paragraphs to hint at something new/future
Provide example of how these core ideas don’t follow laws of nature
Example is that when beehive near popular place, they take it down
This eliminates pollinators
Tie back to thesis

Body Paragraph IV
Use core ideas from previous paragraphs to hint at the dynamically unnatural city parks
Use example of how there is concrete beneath most city parks
Use example of structure beneath central park
This all prevents groundwater movement
Prevents natural watering of plants
Tie back to thesis

Body Paragraph V
Use core ideas from previous paragraphs to hint at the dynamically unnatural city parks
This paragraph is about artificial ponds
Most ponds in city parks were artificially made
The ones that were not have been altered a lot
(Look into the duck pond in Boston and the big pond in the public garden)
In some cases, the ponds are lined with material that prevents the water from draining
Some have pumps that aerate the water because of the large fish population
The fish were put there for decoration
Park pond fish are species that are not native to the area, region, or even continent
Koi,… find more

Body Paragraph VI and Conclusion
Make this the conclusion to the body section
Make this the so what section
Refer to the future of city parks and in the many ways we can improve on them

Potential Sources
https://gizmodo.com/an-artificial-cave-200-beneath-central-park-with-micha-1446538828

http://www.nyc.gov/html/oec/downloads/pdf/2014_ceqr_tm/2014_ceqr_tm_ch11_natural_resources_NYC_water_bodies.pdf

https://massconvention.com/about-us/boston-common-garage

https://www.boston.gov/parks/boston-common

History

https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/green-park/about-green-park/history-and-architecture

Natural Parks Define American Cities

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