Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chelsea Now: Chelsea’s Seniors Need Nearby Park and Bench Space


 The following Talking point ran in the March 26, 2014 Senior Health and Fitness issue of Chelsea Now. The version below has illustrations and  is annotated with links  with more information on the topics covered...


Chelsea’s Seniors Need Nearby Park and Bench Space

  Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent building public park space in far west Chelsea, whose primary purpose is to be economic engines for the future growth of NYC, rather then creating parks that meet the needs of most Chelsea’s seniors. The High Line provides an enjoyable walk and beautiful views — but as a park, it is so far away from most of Chelsea’s seniors that it is of only marginal usefulness for them.

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6003/5931735294_2430117cc8_b.jpg
Chelsea's  High Line, $240 million dollars worth of truly great views but for most of Chelsea's  seniors only marginally useful  link

A 2012 report from the Mayor, City Council and the NY Academy of Medicine (“Creating an Age Friendly NY One Neighborhood at a Time”) noted that seniors “care about benches, trees, gardens and open space closest to where they live. Big parks are for occasional visits in most cases.”



Chelsea's Citybench in front of the Moonstruck Diner. $2,000 worth of not  truly great views, but a truly great place for the  senior, in the photo below, to sit while walking in Chelsea. 


 


Here are some thoughts on creating outdoor spaces that meet the real needs of Chelsea’s seniors.

CHELSEA SENIORS NEED PARKS TO BE CLOSER TO WHERE THEY LIVE
NYC Plan 2030 promises a park with 10 minutes of every New Yorker by 2030. The trouble with this plan is that many of today’s seniors will be gone by 2030 — and even if there is a park with a 10-minute walk, studies have shown that park usage drops drastically when parks are more than a three- minute walk away (read Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” for more info).
 

 The good news is that most of Chelsea now has (or will shortly have) a public place to sit with a three-minute walk. See the Park Chelsea News for more information.

Through a combination of NYC Parks, DOT Plazas, Privately Owned  Spaces that have public seating, and Sidewalk Parks (aka Citybenches), Chelsea now has (or is planning to have) public seating within a 3 block/minute walk of all residents, with the exception of those in the shaded area  link


We still need more actual parks that are really close to where seniors live, though — and sooner than 2030!

CHELSEA SENIORS NEED SHOPPING TRAILS
Chelsea has some great supermarkets in Trader Joe’s, Fairway and Western Beef. But for many seniors, traveling to these supermarkets on sidewalks without any place to sit makes the task of shopping much harder. It would be great if Chelsea had public seating on each block of every Avenue and side street, so that seniors could sit on their way to and from shopping. We don’t have this yet, but what we do have is several “Shopping Trails” — stretches of sidewalks with CityBenches that gives our seniors places to sit while shopping. To request that a bench be installed at a specific location, visit nyc.gov/citybench.

The Chelsea resident in this photo needed a place to sit on her way home.Most of Chelsea's streets offer no  seating,  her only option was yo lean on  this telephone booth.
After shopping at Trader Joe's this Chelsea resident takes a rest at the Citybench in front of Crunch Fitness on Chelsea's 23rd Street Shopping Trail

6th Ave Shopping Trail: 5  Sidewalk Parks (aka citybenches)
9th Ave Shopping Trail: 9  sidewalk parks/plazas + privately owned public benches
23rd Street shopping trail: 7 sidewalk parks/plazas + privately owned public benches
34th Street shopping trail: more then  10 sidewalk parks/ Parks/Privately owned public spaces



SEATING THAT ENHANCES CONVERSATION
Benches are great for solitary sitting and resting while shopping, but they are lousy to have a conversation on. Moveable tables and chairs (like those currently available near the Flatiron building) are much better for this. Chelsea’s seniors need more locations with similar arrangements — where two, three, four people can gather and look at one another while they talk!




 Fixed bench seating at around edges of space at Chelsea's Clark Clement Moore Park. No social seating is available at this park.  The sitting portion of this  park has a great deal of  empty space, which is of no use to users of the park.



 Here's another Moore Park, Moore Homestead Park in Elhurst Queens. It  offers social seating in the form of   fixed tables and chairs that are far more accommodating to the conversation and recreation needs of these seniors.This type of seating is not reconfigurable.
 Moore Homestead Park
 link


           The best type of social seating  is the moveable  tables and chairs  that can be found at Flatiron Plaza,. This is "have it your way seating"  that enhances conversations and other recreational activities. This seating can also be easily moved when a community function requires a open space. 

Flatiron Plaza seating link




SENIOR ACTIVITIES
A place to sit outdoors is the minimum Chelsea seniors need. Currently, with the exception of people-watching, there are few meaningful activities for seniors at most of our outdoor seating locations. We need to offer more activities. This will serve a real need for those who have little, or no, disposable income to spend on indoor activities that charge admission.

from  People Places 




Revolution Books on 26th St offers  an outdoor reading room, where Chelsea seniors  can rest and read  or purchase a book.




SENIOR EXERCISE
A 2012 Park Chelsea News blog entry ran an inspiring article by Kathy Antoniotti. Originally printed in the November 4, 2011 edition of the Beacon Journal, Antoniotti’s coverage of a newly opened Springfield Township, Ohio facility noted that its “eight pieces of low-impact athletic equipment designed especially for older adults is believed to be only the second of its kind in the country.”  Chelsea’s public parks are totally lacking in outdoor recreation for seniors, and the addition of a few “Senior Playgrounds” seems like a great idea.


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-kf_-a_0HcN4/TWaMdE7M2cI/AAAAAAAAAB8/xxaoBaZEzhI/s1600/oldagegym1MENSYN_468x322.jpg
Two of Chelsea's senior centers have adjacent outdoor spaces that offer seniors no more then a place to sit outdoors. These outdoor spaces are sparsely used by seniors. Adding senior exercise equipment to these spaces can transform them into seniors playgrounds.
 
link

SEATING AT EVERY BUS STOP, ACCESS-A-RIDE STOP, MEDICAL FACILITY, SENIOR CENTER AND NORC
Beyond being simply a place to sit down for everyone, Chelsea’s lack of seating is actually creating a dangerous situation. Our senior citizens must wait on our street corners, with no seating, to be picked up by Access-A-Ride. My mother, for instance, having just had open heart surgery, once waited for an Access-A-Ride pickup, standing on a street corner for over an hour — and the AAR pickup never showed. Union Health Center has a medical facility on Seventh Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets. After examination, I found people waiting for a pickup of Access-A-Ride. They too were waiting up to an hour or more and had no place to sit.

When Daudet Phanor worked scheduling vans for the Transit Authority's Access-A-Ride program, he learned one lesson above all - when there's a problem, blame the passenger. ...The TA also found many cases in which drivers simply didn't bother to pick up passengers.link


This woman in this photo is at an Access a Ride stop near Penn Station . She had been waiting over an hour for a pickup that had not showed. She was lucky that the vendor next to the stop allowed her to use his chair while waiting.

 
Waiting at a bus stop with no seating




–  For a printable Park Chelsea map, go to Parks311.com.

Y ARNOLD BOB  |  Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent building public park space in far west Chelsea, whose primary purpose is to be economic engines for the future growth of NYC, rather then creating parks that meet the needs of most Chelsea’s seniors. The High Line provides an enjoyable walk and beautiful views — but as a park, it is so far away from most of Chelsea’s seniors that it is of only marginal usefulness for them.
A 2012 report from the Mayor, City Council and the NY Academy of Medicine (“Creating an Age Friendly NY One Neighborhood at a Time”) noted that seniors “care about benches, trees, gardens and open space closest to where they live. Big parks are for occasional visits in most cases.”
Here are some thoughts on creating outdoor spaces that meet the real needs of Chelsea’s seniors.
CHELSEA SENIORS NEED PARKS TO BE CLOSER TO WHERE THEY LIVE
NYC Plan 2030 promises a park with 10 minutes of every New Yorker by 2030. The trouble with this plan is that many of today’s seniors will be gone by 2030 — and even if there is a park with a 10-minute walk, studies have shown that park usage drops drastically when parks are more than a three- minute walk away (read Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” for more info). The good news is that most of Chelsea now has (or will shortly have) a public place to sit with a three-minute walk. See the Park Chelsea News for more information (parkchelseanews.blogspot.com). We still need more actual parks that are really close to where seniors live, though — and sooner than 2030!
CHELSEA SENIORS NEED SHOPPING TRAILS
Chelsea has some great supermarkets in Trader Joe’s, Fairway and Western Beef. But for many seniors, traveling to these supermarkets on sidewalks without any place to sit makes the task of shopping much harder. It would be great if Chelsea had public seating on each block of every Avenue and side street, so that seniors could sit on their way to and from shopping. We don’t have this yet, but what we do have is several “Shopping Trails” — stretches of sidewalks with CityBenches that gives our seniors places to sit while shopping. To request that a bench be installed at a specific location, visit nyc.gov/citybench.
SEATING THAT ENHANCES CONVERSATION
Benches are great for solitary sitting and resting while shopping, but they are lousy to have a conversation on. Moveable tables and chairs (like those currently available near the Flatiron building) are much better for this. Chelsea’s seniors need more locations with similar arrangements — where two, three, four people can gather and look at one another while they talk!
SENIOR ACTIVITIES
A place to sit outdoors is the minimum Chelsea seniors need. Currently, with the exception of people-watching, there are few meaningful activities for seniors at most of our outdoor seating locations. We need to offer more activities. This will serve a real need for those who have little, or no, disposable income to spend on indoor activities that charge admission.
SENIOR EXERCISE
A 2012 Park Chelsea News blog entry ran an inspiring article by Kathy Antoniotti. Originally printed in the November 4, 2011 edition of the Beacon Journal, Antoniotti’s coverage of a newly opened Springfield Township, Ohio facility noted that its “eight pieces of low-impact athletic equipment designed especially for older adults is believed to be only the second of its kind in the country.”  Chelsea’s public parks are totally lacking in outdoor recreation for seniors, and the addition of a few “Senior Playgrounds” seems like a great idea.
SEATING AT EVERY BUS STOP, ACCESS-A-RIDE STOP, MEDICAL FACILITY, SENIOR CENTER AND NORC
Beyond being simply a place to sit down for everyone, Chelsea’s lack of seating is actually creating a dangerous situation. Our senior citizens must wait on our street corners, with no seating, to be picked up by Access-A-Ride. My mother, for instance, having just had open heart surgery, once waited for an Access-A-Ride pickup, standing on a street corner for over an hour — and the AAR pickup never showed. Union Health Center has a medical facility on Seventh Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets. After examination, I found people waiting for a pickup of Access-A-Ride. They too were waiting up to an hour or more and had no place to sit.
–  For a printable Park Chelsea map, go to Parks311.com.
- See more at: http://chelseanow.com/2014/03/chelseas-seniors-need-nearby-park-and-bench-space/#sthash.myjleOjo.dpuf

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Community Spaces & Local Gathering Spaces


We do not need meaningless plazas  containing  a handful of benches. " 
-Chelsea Resident 1968 

I suspect the new Plazas of Far West Chelsea will be meaningless plazas.


Manhattan West
What do meaningful ones's look like?

Share-It Square
A visit to the corner of Southeast Ninth and Sherett Avenue in Portland, Oregon provides a thriving example of how urban architectural form can promote a sharing environment. This otherwise ordinary intersection - now playfully known as Share-It Square - is a grassroots attempt to take a banal urban condition and transform it into a lively commons. Several structures were created by area residents in a spontaneous work party during the summer of 1996.

One structure holds an open-invitation, serve-yourself tea station. Another contains a children’s clubhouse with games and a constant supply of multicolored sidewalk chalk. A community bulletin board and free produce stand - the local favorite - beckon visitors to another corner. People from blocks away, as well as the immediate area, understand that when you take vegetables from the stand you leave other produce in their place.

link

Share-It Square is located in Portland's Sellwood neighborhood. Looking to create a community gathering place, residents turned an intersection into their own public square. They painted a geometric design based on an indigenous symbol for gathering and peace in the center of the intersection to define the space. Share-It Square also has installed on the street corners: a community bulletin board and chalkboard; a food-sharing stand; a kids' playhouse; and a 24-hour tea station – a thermos with tea cups and tea; neighbors take turns keeping it supplied with hot water and tea.

What Makes Share-It Square a Great Place?

Share-It Square is located in the heart of a residential neighborhood, blocks from any main street. Thus, it provides a much-needed and well-used focus for community identity and gathering.

After installation of Share-It Square, organizers surveyed their neighbors and found that an overwhelming majority (over 85% in each case) felt that crime had decreased, traffic had slowed, and communication between neighbors had improved.  link




Lack of Awareness of parks/Signage

Lack Of Awareness of parks

 In Kalamazoo Michigan a survey found...
 Lack of awareness about city parks and recreation is residents' biggest barriers to participation, followed by distance from residents, lack of facilities and programs and security.
link


Let’s Go to the Park Today:The Role of Parks in Obesity Prevention
and Improving the Public’s Health makes the statement: 
 
Barriers to park use can take many forms. They may
be as simple as lack of awareness that a park exists ...  link

Increasing Parks Awareness:

-Create Parks on the Street where they can't be missed
see Sidewalk Parks

Neighborhood parks maps and Signage
  Under NYC's Privately Owned Public Spaces Program the owners of many of the public spaces created under the program order the designers of their spaces to to design them in such a way that anyone passing by would think they were private spaces not open to the public.

Upon first being shown the 2012 Park Chelsea map, one Chelsea senior noted that for years she would be coming home from shopping with heavy bags, she would see one of the listed areas, but thinking it was private property, just walk past it. Now she knows it is a public open space where she can stop and rest on her way home.

See
Unified Parks System Maps
Community Advertising



If you have facilities and don't know they are public spaces then for all intensive purposes they do not exist.
We need information on the existance of public spaces  see Signage

How often do people visit parks?





link

In this Utah  town 47% of people visit parks once a year or less.

The assessment showed that more than 80 percent of Kalamazoo residents have visited a city park within the last year, compared to about 72 percent nationally.link


So nationally 28% of people only visit a park once a year or less. For seniors the figures may be even worse.


Philadelphia
 Philadelphia has the largest in-city park system in the world, which can serve as a tremendous resource for social interaction, relaxation and recreation. Yet 72% of older Philadelphians report they had not gone to a public recreation facility in the past year.   link



link



 Los Angeles

A Rand Corporation study found that seniors seldom use Los Angeles  parks. 





Rand: Park Use and Physical Activity in a Sample of Public Parks in the City of Los Angeles



 So the question is how to enhance our existing parks to make more people want to use them?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Brighten up parks and playgrounds fences and benches

Penn  Station South Playground has a drab fence and benches , give it to artist.







 http://mainetoday.com/blogs/hannah-sherwood-art-student/





 Park bench painted - Public Domain Picture
 http://www.pdpics.com/photo/3723-park-bench-painted/


 
 http://www.amesdowntown.org/en/latest_news/beautification_projects/


Our neighborhood parks can easily be transformed into exhibit spaces for local artists.

Piano Stairs-Active Design







In a building where both stairs and escalators (or the elevators) are available... What would be your preference of transportation? Majority of the pedestrians would prefer to use the escalator, but what if each step of the stair was replaced with a giant piano key?

What is Piano Stairs?

The original Piano Stairs was introduced by Volkswagen as part of their fun theory. It was executed in Stockholm, Sweden in October 2009 as a fun musical experience that encouraged the crowd to use the stairs in preference to the escalator or the elevator. Installed at a subway stairwell, the Piano Stairs succeeded in attracting 66% more pedestrians to use the stairs instead of using the escalator. The total expense to complete the project was approximately $50,000 and the total installation time was only a day. Since 2009, there has been many Piano Stairs installed all around the world except North America.

Did you know...

  • You can burn up to 7 times more calories per minute walking up the stairs than taking the elevator?
  • A typical person can lose about 2.5 pounds a year by using the stairs five minutes a day, five days a week?
  • 8 flights of stairs a day could reduce your death rate by 32%?
  •  
  •  
  • link 
  •  
  •  

Finite and Infinite Games

 Professor Carse writes in the first chapter, "There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play." link

Finite games have a definite beginning and ending. They are played with the goal of winning. A finite game is resolved within the context of its rules, with a winner of the contest being declared and receiving a victory. The rules exist to ensure the game is finite. Examples are debates, sports, receiving a degree from an educational institution, belonging to a society, or engaging in war. Beginning to participate in a finite game requires conscious thought, and is voluntary; continued participation in a round of the game is involuntary. Even exiting the game early must be provided for by the rules. This may be likened to a zero sum game (though not all finite games are literally zero sum, in that the sum of positive outcomes can vary).

Infinite games, on the other hand, do not have a knowable beginning or ending. They are played with the goal of continuing play and sometimes with a purpose of bringing more players into the game. An infinite game continues play, for the sake of play. If the game is approaching resolution because of the rules of play, the rules must be changed to allow continued play. The rules exist to ensure the game is infinite. The only known example is life. Beginning to participate in an infinite game may be involuntary, in that it doesn't require conscious thought. Continuing participation in the current round of game-play is voluntary. "It is an invariable principle of all play, finite and infinite, that whoever plays, plays freely" (p. 4).
link

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Creative Ideas for transforming communities

Adaptive Cities Lots of ideas link

 

75 Seriously Fun Ways to Make Your Town More Playful             link

 

25 more link

 

 

 

Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into A Place For Play

In Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play, you’ll find inspiring stories of innovative communities throughout the US and Canada that have successfully created vibrant neighborhood play lives for their children. You’ll also get a comprehensive set of step-by-step solutions to turn around your family and neighborhood cultures, so that your kids can spend less time in front of screens and in adult-supervised activities, and more time engaging in joyful neighborhood play.   link

 

 

Do-It-Yourself Urban Design: The Social Practice of Informal “Improvement” Through Unauthorized Alteration

  There are numerous ways in which people make illegal or unauthorized alterations to urban space. This study identifies and analyzes one that has been largely ignored in social science: explicitly functional and civic-minded informal contributions that I call “do-it-yourself urban design.” The research, which began as an investigation into more “traditional” nonpermissable alterations, uncovered these cases—from homemade bike lanes and street signs to guerrilla gardens and development proposals—that are gaining visibility in many cities, yet are poorly accounted for by existing perspectives in the literature. This article examines the existing theories and evidence from interviews and other fieldwork in 14 cities in order to develop the new analytical category of DIY urban design. I present findings on the creators of these interventions, on their motivations to “improve” the built environment where they perceive government and other development actors to be failing, and on the concentration of their efforts in gentrifying areas. This introduces the possibility of conflict and complicates their impact. I argue that DIY urban design has wide-ranging implications for both local communities and broader urban policy.  link

 

  Play England

link

 

 

 http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/creative-bus-stops-15-pics.html

 



Do it Yourself Parklet Kits

Building a community parklet, like those that now line the sidewalks of cities across the country, usually means dealing with a lot of red tape. LA’s new People St program is making that easier with a DIY kit of parts for designing parklets, plazas, and bike corrals. Any group approved through the program can use the kit to quickly add new community space to a neighborhood.

“The main goal is to get projects on the ground as fast as possible,” says Valerie Watson, one of LA’s new pedestrian coordinators, who helped launch the program after the city realized it needed a better process for all of the people who suddenly wanted to work on local infrastructure. In 2012, in one council district alone, community groups proposed four different parklet projects, and each struggled separately to make it through the labyrinthine system

 Now, things will be much simpler: After a group shows that there’s community support for a new project on a particular site and gets city approval, it can use the city’s pre-approved kit of designs to sail through the process.  link

LA DIY Parklet Kit

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Transforming Chelsea into Park Chelsea, Chelsea's Age Friendly Park


    Transforming  Chelsea into Park Chelsea, Chelsea's Age Friendly Park
     that's also a park for all ages
    (draft version)


    A History of  "Park Chelsea"

    Prior to the arrival of Western civilization, the area now know as Chelsea was a place where its inhabitants could sit down and relax any place. In those days all of Chelsea was essentially a park every bit as pristine as Yellowstone Park is still today.



    - .  In the days before our streets were usurped by automobiles, they were our parks, where you could sit or play just about anywhere.

    Chasing  pigs on 23rd St and 6th ave Circa 1886 from Letters to Phil



     "Larger, more destination-level parks get the bulk of city capital funds, while smaller, neighborhood parks are left to scrape by." Holly Leicht  of New Yorkers for Parks


    Chelsea is in the midst of a parks spending  boon.The High Line alone cost 240 million dollars, and  with the construction of the Hudson River Park and Hudson Park and Boulevard we're probably talking  figures of 1/2 billion dollars or more  being  spent on  new parks for Chelsea. 



    1/2 billion spent on parks for Chelsea . And we still need more parks? Actually yes. Because  we spent  this  1/2  billion dollars without taking into account all the  recreation needs of the community.so  we landed up building parks that meet some of the recreation  needs of some of our community members as opposed to all of the needs of all of our community members. 

    Here's a worse case example to show what we mean how public space entities are creating offerings that fill some community needs while totally ignoring others.






































    This map shows all the public  active recreation public spaces for  adults in the bounded area. Other than  Bryant park (which offers   Ping Pong tables and a couple of tossing games) there is no adult active recreation in this area. Our present system for designing and running parks has totally ignored the needs of some community groups. This is a worst case scenario, however other aspects of Chelsea's public spaces system come just as cliose to this in their dysfunctionality. 
     

      So in the future rather then just build more parks  that won't meet a lot of our community recreation  needs, We think it's time to try and  to diagnose what the actual  recreation needs of the community are, and then start building/rebuilding  parks so that they really meet the community's needs.

    For example:

     Outdoor seating that are no more then 3 minutes away from every resident
    Outdoor  Reading rooms
     Tables & chairs: Seating then engages seniors
    Senior Playgrounds 
      Indoors parks
     Childrens Playgrounds that Build a Variety of Skills
    Playgrounds  that are NOT Boring 
    Painting Recreation in Chelsea
    Activities Recreation for Adults
    "Permission spaces" allowing Strangers to Talk to Each Other



     Equipment that facilitates Getting Around the Park
    Walking/Shopping trails for seniors

    Unified park System  maps
    Community Advertising

    "Gimme Shelter"...:Getting  A Bus Shelter for every bus stop in New York City  

     Signage that reveals Secret Parks
     Restrooms

    Unified parks system planning
     Our Community Boards  Unified Park System  space oversight
    Flatiron Active Recreation area: A Unified Park System  Planning Proposal 


    Adding More parks To Chelsea

     Sidewalk parks
    Parklets  
    Dead Streets (Streets with little or no activity)     Con Ed(6th@18th)     FIT (8th @27th)
     Convenience store parks
    Plazas
    Centralized parks
    Greenstreets parks
     Planned and Suggested Park Sites in CB4


    Active Recreation for everybody
     Chelsea's Existing Acyive  Recreation Facilities
     Swappable Park
    Active Recreation Parklet
     Turn a passive Recreation Park  Into an Outdoor Gym with Bench Fitness...

    ------------------------------
    Other Ideas
    Community spaces/Third Places/Social recreation

    Community gardens

    Staff for parks
    Safety

    Supermarket Parks-Exotic journeys to "far off lands"

    Cost effective design
    Multi Use facilities
    parks TV



    What we don't need
    Viewing parks and other  Public Spaces that no one uses

    Funding 
     
    Funding













Saturday, March 8, 2014

How Close are we to having a Park with a 3 minute walk of all Chelsea residents?

In the post on the 3 Minute Park we showed why Chelsea needs a park with a 3 minute walk of all Chelsea residents. Here we show how near we are to meeting that goal.

      This map is all the NYC Parks Dept Parks(Green symbols) and a radius of 3 minutes around them. Large portions of eastern Chelsea are more then 3 minutes from a Parks dept park.
         

Most people use parks for passive recreation. a place to sit outdoors.Most  people do not care if that place to sit outdoors is in a DCP park or another public space.

The map below shows a 3 minute radius around Privately owned public spaces   and other private outdoor  spaces  that offer public seating(yellow symbols). Private owned public  spaces are mostly missing from south east Chelsea.

The next map is 3 minutes around  DOT Plazas, Playstreets, and the currently under construction  plazas of Hudson Yards and Manhattan West(bench symbol) . Ther are not many plaza spaces in Chelsea.



This is a map of 3 minutes around  Chelsea's Sidewalk Parks (aka Citybenches) these are the white dots on the map


In a study for Age Friendly NY one of the findings was that They (seniors)  care about benches, trees, gardens and open space closest to where they live. Big parks are for occasional visits in most cases.”  Creating an Age Friendly NY One Neighborhood at a Time 

 As the study says seniors what seniors really care about is a place  to sit outdoors  closest to where they live. The map above shows Chelsea's Age-Friendly sidewalk parks cover a greater area of Chelsea then any of the other  entities offering public outdoor seating in Chelsea.


Each  sidewalk parks can be  installed in hours  at a fraction of the cost  of centralized parks facilities
 Sidewalk park benches are the fastest, most cost effective way to install more outdoor seating for Chelsea residents.


This final map shows a Unified Parks Systems map consisting of all the Public outdoors Passive recreation seating locations in Chelsea. It shows that by looking at all outdoor public seating phat Chelsea offers a Place to sit outdoors within  a 3 minute walk of all Chelsea residents with the exception of the small shaded area in south east Chelsea.






 Click here for a printable copy of the Park Chelsea Map



Does this  mean we don't need any more centralized parks? Absolutely not. What it does show us is that:

-The fastest, most cost effective way to add more passive outdoor seating  to Chelsea is to do so by the installation of more sidewalk parks in areas with no or spotty passive recreation seating coverage.

-That passive recreation parks  should not be a priority in the creation of new centralized public spaces  . What Chelsea is in a far more  need of is  outdoor parks with adult activities and active recreation, creative kids recreation  and also indoor parks. .