April 29 2013

Urban Parks v. Rural Parks

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.

Spokane, WA, USA's Riverfront Park from day to night

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.

Cheney, WA, USA's Veteran Memorial Park from day to night

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.

Aascot Holt

Aascot Holt is an undergraduate at Eastern Washington University, pursuing a major in Urban and Regional Planning and a minor in Geography. She will graduate in the spring of 2013. She is from Stevenson, WA and currently lives in Spokane, WA in a brick 1936 kit house. She is most intrigued by small-city and small town planning, parks and recreation planning, long-range planning, and historic preservation. She hopes to continue her habit of being involved with many planning projects at a time, and fears being pigeonholed. Aascot maintains the “Being A Planning Student” Tumblr as well as her planning-centric blog, The Comprehensive. She is currently writing Cheney, WA’s entirely new comprehensive parks, recreation, and trails plan, completely pro bono. More can be learned about her endeavors via LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 29th, 2013 at 9:37 am and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Content, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Social/Demographics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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