Design Observer

About
Books
Job Board
Newsletters
Archive
Contact



Observatory

About
Resources
Submissions
Contact


Featured Writers

Michael Bierut
William Drenttel
John Foster
Jessica Helfand
Alexandra Lange
Mark Lamster
Paul Polak
Rick Poynor
John Thackara
Rob Walker


Departments

Advertisement
Audio
Books
Collections
Dear Bonnie
Dialogues
Essays
Events
Foster Column
From Our Archive
Gallery
Interviews
Miscellaneous
Opinions
Partner News
Photos
Poetry
Primary Sources
Projects
Report
Reviews
Slideshows
The Academy
Today Column
Unusual Suspects
Video


Topics

Advertising
Architecture
Art
Books
Branding
Business
Cities / Places
Community
Craft
Culture
Design History
Design Practice
Development
Disaster Relief
Ecology
Economy
Education
Energy
Environment
Fashion
Film / Video
Food/Agriculture
Geography
Global / Local
Graphic Design
Health / Safety
History
Housing
Ideas
Illustration
India
Industry
Info Design
Infrastructure
Interaction Design
Internet / Blogs
Journalism
Landscape
Literature
Magazines
Media
Museums
Music
Nature
Obituary
Other
Peace
Philanthropy
Photography
Planning
Poetry
Politics / Policy
Popular Culture
Poverty
Preservation
Product Design
Public / Private
Public Art
Religion
Reputations
Science
Shelter
Social Enterprise
Sports
Sustainability
Technology
Theory/Criticism
Transportation
TV / Radio
Typography
Urbanism
Water


Comments Posted 10.05.09 | PERMALINK | PRINT

Alexandra Lange

(Women and) Children First


A pet project of mine is collecting ways the city could be made more child-friendly, not in an entitled-parent, breastfeeding-everywhere way, but in a common-sense, better-infrastructure-benefits-all way. More public bathrooms would make city life easier. Fewer revolving-gate entrances to the subway would make city life easier. More subway elevators would make city life easier. I want to write an article surveying the globe and highlighting the 10 things New York should do, especially now that everyone with offspring isn’t leaving. More parks, of more shapes and sizes, benefit all with more greenery, more places to sit, more things to do. If I had to guess at the heaviest users of urban parks I would guess marathoners and children (Jane Jacobs has excellent parks analysis in Death and Life). On the weekends, we sometimes go to three a day, early morning, morning, afternoon. I feel lucky I have three within blocks to choose between.

We are about to gain one more: Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. As part of Sunday’s Atlantic Antic the BBP Development Corporation offered quick tours of the “adventure playground” due to open this December or January (it is in the foreground above, everything past the low building is but a dream). It seems like more work has been done on the piers in the past nine months than in the 20 years the park has been under discussion. The endless discussion and continuing funding controversy meant that many thought this park would never happen. Piers 2, 3 and 5 (4 is underwater) are still not funded. But this part is, and I suspect the parents of Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill and the Columbia Waterfront are going to go nuts for the new park. There’s topography, for one thing, a slide mountain and wooden ampitheater seating, like landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’s Teardrop Park. There will be a sandbox with movable playhouse parts (my current go-to playground has a pink-roofed Little Tikes playhouse someone left behind, and it is the most used item there). And there will be a watercourse, maybe something like this one at the Montshire Museum. Whether it works as they say remains to be seen; some Brooklyn Bridge Park opponents have Teardrop Park in their Hall of Shame. And there’s still the matter of the future condominium tower looming next door…

Leading with the playground is a clever move on BBPDC’s part. They need neighborhood support (financial as well as fans) to get the park done, and half a pier full of satisfied and photogenic customers can only help. It seems a little crazy to open in the dead of winter, but I know I will be out there, in my parka, some Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. Kids need to run, whatever the calendar says.

Share This Story

RELATED POSTS


Occupy: The Day After


Illuminating the Petrochemical Landscape


The Social Project


The Village Against the World


Public and Common(s)



LOG IN TO POST A COMMENT
Don't have an account? Create an account. Forgot your password? Click here.

Email


Password




|
Share This Story



Alexandra Lange is an architecture and design critic, and author of Writing about Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities. (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). Her work has appeared in The Architect's Newspaper, Architectural Record, Dwell, Metropolis, Print, New York Magazine and The New York Times.
More >>

DESIGN OBSERVER JOBS









BOOKS BY Alexandra Lange

Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012

Design Research
Chronicle Books, 2010

More books by contributors >>