Previously, we discussed urban parks and how cities can mitigate issues created by time and light circumstances. Then, we discussed passive and active community depreciation in rural parks. The differences, struggles, and advantages of and between rural and urban parks are obviously significant.
Rural parks departments don’t have the large tax base large city parks departments have, so playground equipment may be rusty, due for repairs, or completely unusable due to safety concerns. This issue has become more and more common in cities since the Great Recession started in 2008.
Deferred maintenance, or waiting to maintain something until the next budget period or longer, is a typical practice for all municipalities throughout all departments to keep budgets low. It’s a short-term fix for a long-term problem. A little bit of skimping on a small problem now usually turns into a big issue totaling much more than the maintenance ever would have cost.
Urban parks are in much more densely populated areas and have many more visitors each day. Due to this larger tax base, parks departments in cities can afford to offer unique amenities. Flower gardens, innovative and inclusive playgrounds, and duck ponds are some popular choices for those city parks departments that have wiggle room in their budget.
Rural parks do best when it comes to family safety due to the lower population and therefore less intense use of public spaces. Parks in urban areas usually have horrible reputations as being homeless havens at night and the locations of too many violent crimes.
Do the deterring factors of urban parks outweigh the extra amenities to you? Tell us in the comments below!
Credits: Photographs by Aascot Holt. Data linked to sources.