Home' Commercial : Commercial Building and Design 2013 Contents 130 SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 2013
Setting the bar| World’s best
economic crisis in the 1970s saw Central Park
endure a decline. A group of civic-minded citizens
and philanthropic leaders established the Central
Park Conservancy in 1980, dedicated to restoring
it to its former glory. It has overseen more than
$600 million worth of investment into the park,
evident in the 50 fountains, monuments and
sculptures, historical buildings, the world-famous
Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center, two skating
rinks, a carousel, baseball fields, tennis courts, a
public swimming pool, and numerous restaurants
and bars it boasts today. While its year-round
events calendar features concerts, productions,
exhibitions and several tours, the park has more
importantly become a haven for those with little
or no backyard of their own – a lifeline in a high-
density city. A survey conducted from July 2008 to
May 2009 estimated 37-38 million visits annually
by approximately 8-9 million different people.
On a smaller scale, New York’s 100-year-old
Bryant Park was redeveloped in the 80s and 90s.
The 1.2 hectare urban parkland retreat is a success
thanks to simple initiatives such as moveable
park furniture for flexible seating configuration.
Interaction between the park’s users is encouraged
through games available for free or for hire,
including chess, backgammon and ping-pong.
There is a large selection of books, periodicals
and newspapers, along with readings and events,
restaurants, food vendors and a merry-go-round.
Perth’s unique landscape is made up of many
public spaces that in the past have been under-
used or left to become derelict. Recent years
have seen a significant shift in focus to increase
the incorporation of street furniture, innovative
lighting, landscaping and art into our parklands.
Hyde Park in Northbridge and the world-class
Kings Park have become backyard substitutes for
those in the city. The Committee for Perth suggests
simple changes such as allowing the operation of
food vendors, providing big screens, improving
playgrounds, and organising concerts and street
performers, many of which are underway. These
tried and tested methods of urban revitalisation for
parklands and public spaces will contribute to a
long-absent sense of vitality and identity.
“The park has, more importantly, become a haven
for those with little or no backyard of their own –
a lifeline in a high-density city.”
The ice rink at the Rockefeller Center.
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