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Urban parks
#31
(02-01-2018, 08:37 AM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(02-01-2018, 07:51 AM)tomh009 Wrote: But if you're limiting "downtown parks" to the space between Weber and Charles, then you really are saying that the playgrounds must be right next to the people living downtown.

I personally think 3-4 blocks away from one's house or apartment is still very close: playgrounds are not frequently used by elderly or disabled people.

I don't think it's fair to say elderly and disabled people don't use parks.

They don't use playgrounds....but they do use parks.  Some parks are not much more than a playground, but that doesn't have to be the case.

As we saw in a thread from quite some time ago, DTK has a significant number of places to sit and relax, including a number of very pleasant green spots.  Again, not what everyone, including seniors, is looking for, but they are there.

http://www.waterlooregionconnected.com/s...=62&page=2

Edit:  This reminds me that, as part of the coming Queen St refurbishment, there will be a mini-green space created at the corner of Queen  and Charles.
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#32
I'm wondering whether this thread and the "Downtown Outdoor Spaces" thread couldn't be merged?
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#33
(02-01-2018, 08:41 AM)panamaniac Wrote:
(02-01-2018, 08:37 AM)danbrotherston Wrote: I don't think it's fair to say elderly and disabled people don't use parks.

They don't use playgrounds....but they do use parks.  Some parks are not much more than a playground, but that doesn't have to be the case.

As we saw in a thread from quite some time ago, DTK has a significant number of places to sit and relax, including a number of very pleasant green spots.  Again, not what everyone, including seniors, is looking for, but they are there.

http://www.waterlooregionconnected.com/s...=62&page=2

Edit:  This reminds me that, as part of the coming Queen St refurbishment, there will be a mini-green space created at the corner of Queen  and Charles.

Downtown Kitchener is well-served with sitting areas and small green spaces to relax. No doubt. I was talking specifically about playgrounds for kids, which can be small but still very useful, and which downtown is lacking. Tom is right that those are not often used by disabled people or older people (but are used by their kids and grandkids).
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#34
(02-01-2018, 09:44 AM)MidTowner Wrote:
(02-01-2018, 08:41 AM)panamaniac Wrote: As we saw in a thread from quite some time ago, DTK has a significant number of places to sit and relax, including a number of very pleasant green spots.  Again, not what everyone, including seniors, is looking for, but they are there.

http://www.waterlooregionconnected.com/s...=62&page=2

Edit:  This reminds me that, as part of the coming Queen St refurbishment, there will be a mini-green space created at the corner of Queen  and Charles.

Downtown Kitchener is well-served with sitting areas and small green spaces to relax. No doubt. I was talking specifically about playgrounds for kids, which can be small but still very useful, and which downtown is lacking. Tom is right that those are not often used by disabled people or older people (but are used by their kids and grandkids).

It's true - the only "play amenity" I can think of right Downtown would be at THEMUSEUM and that is private and paid admission.  Apart from that, there's the pre-schoolers "Kids Hop" music/dance thing at the Market, but that's just a twice-a-month event (although it is very well attended).
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#35
(02-01-2018, 08:37 AM)panamaniac Wrote: An example of how Ottawa does  parklets - designed by students at the Carleton School of Architecture, cost $20,000:

I like this much better than the Montreal shipping containers!
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#36
An easy way for Kitchener to encourage more green space is to either:
a) set aside some of the current surface parking lot foot print for public green space
b) compel developers to leave a portion of their property as privately-owned-public-space
c) encourage/maintain set backs from existing sidewalks to allow benches, trees, or other public amenities that invite street activity rather than hard urban surface that encourage swift passage to a destination.
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#37
(02-02-2018, 01:27 PM)nms Wrote: An easy way for Kitchener to encourage more green space is to either:
a) set aside some of the current surface parking lot foot print for public green space
b) compel developers to leave a portion of their property as privately-owned-public-space
c) encourage/maintain set backs from existing sidewalks to allow benches, trees, or other public amenities that invite street activity rather than hard urban surface that encourage swift passage to a destination.

Compelling developers to do this would require changes to the zoning definitions.

An easier one would be to offer developers a trade, increased density or reduced setbacks in exchange for publicly-accessible green space.
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#38
(02-02-2018, 01:35 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(02-02-2018, 01:27 PM)nms Wrote: An easy way for Kitchener to encourage more green space is to either:
a) set aside some of the current surface parking lot foot print for public green space
b) compel developers to leave a portion of their property as privately-owned-public-space
c) encourage/maintain set backs from existing sidewalks to allow benches, trees, or other public amenities that invite street activity rather than hard urban surface that encourage swift passage to a destination.

Compelling developers to do this would require changes to the zoning definitions.

An easier one would be to offer developers a trade, increased density or reduced setbacks in exchange for publicly-accessible green space.

That makes sense, but I wonder about it in a DTK context.  I don't have the sense that there's much push-back from the City wrt developers seeking increased density, or am I wrong about that?
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#39
Maybe not now -- but it's an approach that the city could take.

Less of a blunt tool than zoning changes, and another benefit is that city staff are able to review each proposal before approving it.
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#40
One option is also to commit to maintaining certain setbacks that leaves room for trees, benches, or other private-public space and/or plazas. Allowing properties to be developed right up to lot lines creates claustrophobic public spaces, particularly when the existing right-of-ways (eg streets) are widened to accommodate transportation infrastructure.
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#41
Mary Allen park is finally showing some progress:


Attached Files Image(s)
   
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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