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The Politics of Park D...
Galen Cranz
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The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  8 ratings  ·  2 reviews
Galen Cranz surveys the rise of the park system from 1850 to the present through 4 stages - the pleasure ground, the reform park, the recreation facility and the open space system. Looking at both their physical design and social purpose, Cranz argues that city parks have become an instrument of social policy with the potential for reflecting and serving social values.Gale ...more
Paperback, 361 pages
Published May 1st 1989 by MIT Press (MA) (first published December 1982)
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Thorough overview of the history of urban parks in the United States. Will be using frequently as a reference for my dissertation.
LandscapeArchitect Books
Recommended by Tom Turner - author of 'Garden History: Philosophy and Design 2000 BC - 2000 AD' - as one of forty books which - he suggests - every landscape student should have seen. Thanks to the Landscape Information Hub UK.
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“Contemporary attitudes toward urban parks fall into three levels of sophistication. The first, the most naive assumption, is that parks are just plots of land preserved in their original state. If asked to discuss the issue at all, many laymen have maintained this much, that parks are bits of nature created only in the sense that some decision was made not to build on the land. Many are surprised to learn that parks that an artifact conceived and deliberated as carefully as public buildings, with both physical shape and social usage taken into account. The second, a little more informed, is that parks are aesthetic objects and that their history can be understood in terms of an evolution of artistic styles independent of societal considerations. The third is the view that each of the elements of the urban park represents part of planners' strategy for moral and social reform, so that today, as in the past, the citizen visiting a park is subject to an accumulated set of intended moral lessons.” 1 likes
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