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REAL ESTATE: Pocket Parks and Urban Green Space
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Pocket Parks and Urban Green Space

By Michael Hart

BT 201909 Real Estate Greenacre Park 01

GREENACRE PARK

One of the things that makes cities so valuable and interesting is the way they can pack so many people and businesses together. And while this proximity creates multiple work, eating and entertainment options, it sometimes also means green space gets squeezed out of our cities. Over the years, urban planners came up with the concept of “Pocket Parks” or small intentionally planned green spaces squeezed into relatively small spaces in urban centres to help bring nature back into our dense cities. We can see examples around the world of successful cities looking for ways to bring back some of their green space in small, but important ways.
 

让城市变得如此有价值和有趣的事情之一就是他可以将这么多人和企业聚集在一起。虽然这种聚集创造了多种工作,餐饮和娱乐选择,但有时也意味着绿色空间被挤出我们的城市。多年来,城市规划者提出了“口袋公园”或小型有意规划的绿色空间概念,这些绿色空间挤进城市中心相对较小的空间,以帮助将自然带回我们密集的城市。我们可以到世界各地的成功城市寻找方法带回一些绿色空间。
 

Global Examples

BT 201909 Real Estate Paley Park 02PALEY PARK

New York City, one of the densest cities in North America, has some interest pocket parks, including Greenacre Park, which contains trees, a waterfall and seating in only a few hundred square metres. Paley Park, also in Manhattan, uses only a few hundred square metres to also create a quiet urban escape.

BT 201909 Real Estate John F. Collins Park 02JOHN F. COLLINS PARK

In Philadelphia, the John F. Collins Park fits the bill as small and green. It is a refuge for city’s residents during the day and can even be rented for special occasions, such as weddings or cocktail parties.

BT 201909 Real Estate Postmans Park 01POSTMAN'S PARK

During his time as Mayor of London, Boris Johnson had a campaign calling for 100 pocket parks and offered funding for winning proposals submitted to his administration. The goal was to create “small public spaces that provide relief from the hustle and bustle of the city.” Their list is quite generous with large and small parks included. A favourite pocket park of mine in London is Postman’s Park, it is easy to miss, but if you find it, you are rewarded not only with quiet green space, but also some dark stories of London’s past residents in its “Wall of Heroes.” Or if you are down near the Thames, the Middle Temple Gardens provide a bit of green in the middle of one of the world’s financial capitals.

BT 201909 Real Estate Jingan Park 02JING'AN PARK

And closer to home in Shanghai, Jing’an Park, although not tiny, is a green oasis along the crowded Nanjing West Road area. Last time I visited Shanghai, a ragtag band of locals had drawn a large crowd to enjoy the shade and the music. And in Beijing, the Olympics in 2008 were a great excuse to squeeze more park space into the city’s Olympic Park.
 

全球范例

纽约市北美人口最密集的城市之一,拥有些有趣的口袋公园,包括美国Greenacre公园,其中包括树木,瀑布。同样位于纽约佩利公园(Paley Park)仅用几百平方米就营造出宁静的城市生活。
 

在费城,约翰•柯林斯公园(John F. Collins Park)小巧而充满绿色。它白天是城市居民的休息所,甚至可以为特殊场合租用,如婚礼或鸡尾酒会。
 

我在伦敦最喜欢的口袋公园是Postman's公园,很容易错过,但如果你找到它,你不仅会得到安静的绿色空间,还会看到一些伦敦过去居民在其“英雄墙”中的黑暗故事。
 

而在上海市区,静安公园虽然面积不大,却是拥挤的南京西路沿线的绿洲。上次我访问上海的时候,那里吸引了大批人群享受阴凉和欣赏音乐。在北京,2008年的奥运会是一个很好的机会,可以将更多的公园空间挤进城市的奥林匹克公园。
 

Green Space in Tianjin

BT 201909 Real Estate Tianjin Water Park 02TIANJIN WATER PARK

BT 201909 Real Estate Tianjin NanCuiPing Park 01TIANJIN NANCUIPING PARK

Tianjin actually has an abundance of green space within its six urban districts, some intentional and some more accidental. The intentional space includes large parks, such as Water Park, Nancuiping Park and Changhong Park, all in Nankai district, and People’s Park and the Culture Centre area both in Hexi district. Heping district has the Five Boulevards and Central Park, while Hebei has the pedestrianized green parts of Italian area, all vestiges of Tianjin’s colonial past. Green space has also been increasing along Tianjin’s Hai River, thanks to recent government efforts.
 

The areas I would call more accidental are those along other water bodies in Tianjin. The pathways on both sides of the South Canal in Hongqiao district are starting to see restaurants open nearby and the paths are quite lovely. So are the parts of the pathways along the Jinhe River, which runs across much of Nankai and Hexi districts. I estimate that nearly half of Tianjin’s population passes this ribbon of green and blue each day without even noticing.

BT 201909 Real Estate Tianjin Changhong Park 01TIANJIN CHANGHONG PARK

BT 201909 Real Estate Tianjin Peoples Park 01TIANJIN PEOPLE'S PARK

Tianjin even has a few areas that could be called pocket parks, including one near the intersection of Guizhou and Chengdu Roads that has been planted with trees and flowers or the courtyard in front of the St. Joseph’s Cathedral, as well as plenty of unnamed spaces often with outdoor exercise equipment installed, guaranteed to bring out Tianjin’s older limber residents at all hours of the day.

BT 201909 Real Estate Tianjin WuDa Dao 01WU DA DAO

天津绿地

天津六个城区内拥有丰富的绿地,有些是刻意为之,有些是偶然的。刻意空间包括大型公园,如南开区水上公园,南翠坪公园和长虹公园,以及河西区的人民公园和文化中心。由于政府近期的努力,天津海河沿岸的绿地也在不断增加。
 

我称之为偶然的区域是天津其他水体沿线的区域。红桥区南运河两侧的小径开始在附近开设餐厅,沿线非常舒适。
 

天津甚至还有一些可以称为口袋公园的区域,其中一个区域位于贵州路和成都路交汇处附近,这些道路种植了树木和鲜花,及圣约瑟夫大教堂前面的庭院,还有许多未命名的空间经常安装户外运动器材,保证在一天中的所有时间都能看到天津的老年人。

Future Plans

BT 201909 Real Estate St. Josephs Catherdal 01ST. JOSEPH'S CATHERDAL

Even though Tianjin is blessed with a decent amount of green space, the older parts of the city tend to have more of it than the newly developed parts do. And some of what people think of as parks in Tianjin today are in fact just lots waiting for redevelopment. Residents will be disappointed once construction starts, but at least in the interim we get to enjoy flowers and trees. Parks, including small pocket parks, are important to allow people to gather to play games, make music and just talk with their neighbours or colleagues. Let’s hope that developers, who are building the new and denser complexes, take a leaf out of the books of urban planners in other major cities and ensure a few new pocket parks sprout in Tianjin, as well.
 

未来计划

虽然天津拥有相当数量的绿地,但城市的旧区却比新开发的部分更多。而今天天津人认为的一些公园实际上只是等待重建的地段。一旦建设开始,居民将感到失望,但至少在过渡期间,我们可以享受花草树木。公园,包括小型公园,对于让人们聚集玩游戏,制作音乐以及与邻居或同事交谈非常重要。让我们希望正在建设新的,更密集综合体的开发商从其城市规划书中抽出一片叶子,确保在天津也有一些新的口袋公园。

michaelAuthor: Michael Hart is the Managing Director of Griffin Business Management www.griffinbiz.com a real estate related consulting firm with offices in Tianjin.

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