Durable Growth

Connecting urbanism and parks

Nearly empty Petaluma park

Ardent suburbophiles sometimes try to position parks and urbanism as incompatible and then use the evident value of parks as an anti-urban argument. As is true of most binary arguments, and particularly true here, the reality is more complicated. It’s true that many urbanist land-use configurations don’t easily allow some […]

Durable Growth

Watching the Spokane River thunder past

Upper Falls

In my last post, I introduced Riverfront Park and the Riverwalk in Spokane, both of which are star attractions. But I’ve yet to describe the real highlight of the park, the river itself.

As I ambled through Riverfront Park on the first evening of my visit, I gradually became aware of a […]

Durable Growth

Spokane and a fine urban park

Red wagon sculpture

A few years ago, my wife and I spent a weekend in Spokane, Washington. The reason for the trip was the high school graduation of the daughter of one of my wife’s oldest friends. But I used the opportunity to snoop around downtown Spokane.

To my delight, I found a park […]

Durable Growth

Downtown plazas: The Petaluma challenge

Site of possible Petaluma Square

A few weeks ago, I wrote a pair of posts about urban public places in Petaluma. I listed the downtown public places that were already in use or well into the planning stage, along with the most evident shortcoming of each. I noted that downtowns are best supported by strings […]

Durable Growth, Environment

How much parkland is enough?

When the subject turns to public parks, there is a truism in land-use entitlement. If a proposed development site has been used by the public for casual recreation, someone will argue that the property should instead become a park.

It doesn’t matter if the property has been owned by a family for years and they […]