Sunday, February 24, 2013

Worlds Smallest parks

Thumblina Park and Community garden is park Chelsea's smallest park. here are some of the smallest parks around the world;  


Smallest Park in the City: 'Man on a Bench' Updated February 6, 2013 11:05am

BRONZEVILLE — Chicago's smallest official park holds a big place in the Illinois Institute of Technology campus' heart.
"Man on a Bench" — a sculpture sitting on a bench on a 6-by-9-foot piece of land at IIT since 1986 — has a smaller footprint than two metal picnic benches that rest near it in front of Perlstein Hall.
But the IIT students and faculty have long treasured the figure, which, according to the Chicago Park District "resembles an African-American man who is sitting comfortably on a wooden bench."
"It's just a fabulous thing," said M. Ellen Mitchell, IIT's dean of the College of Psychology.
How the "Man" became a park has a fascinating back story

Read more:


Portland parks series: The smallest park in the world

PORTLAND, Ore. - In downtown Portland there is a teeny tiny little park that tourists from all over the world stop to gaze upon while they're visiting the Rose City.

Every Friday we're putting the spotlight on a local park and for this week's installment we headed to downtown Portland to check out the famous Mill Ends Park.
The park has earned notoriety as the 'World's Smallest Park' (it was actually recognized as such in the Guinness Book of Records in 1971).

For over 60 years, the little park has sat in a median in downtown Portland. For those bustling around trying to get from one place to another, it can be easy to miss. But the park, which is listed in guide books and pinpointed on maps, is a draw for tourists.

Mill Ends Park was created by Dick Fagan, a columnist for The Oregon Journal who noticed a hole in the concrete dividing the lanes of Front Avenue and decided to plant some flowers there to spruce it up. He then named the little spot after the column he wrote.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hotspots and Coldspots

W-iFi Hotspots:

A WiFi Hotspot provides  high-speed wireless Internet access in convenient public locations.
Recently Google teamed up with the Chelsea Improvement Company to transform all of southwest Chelsea into a free W-iFi hotspot.   link

                                  Google Wi-Fi Hotspots are yellow, Coldspots are blue

This is a great start. There are other free  Wi-fi hotspots in Chelsea, such as at the  Flatiron Plaza and the Mulenberg Library.Others can be found here

Coldspot:No free wi-Fi
Low signal strength-spotty neighborhood coverage
High Signal srength-Whole neighborhood is a Wi-Fi hotspot.

No Fee-Fi Hotspot Ideas
Building on the success of Chelsea's free Wi-Fi hotspots,  Park Chelsea has come up with a number of innovative new No Fee-Fi hotspot ideas to help transform more of Chelsea's parks and  public spaces  from coldspots to hotspots:

Read-Fi Hotspots:

Read-Fi HotSpot provides  access to printed reading materials in convenient public locations. Chelsea has a very few free Read-Fi hotspots ,we call these libraries.  But they all don't have to be libraries...

Bryant Park Reading Room a outdoor Read-Fi hotspot that began in  1935

Bryant park offers a outdoor Read-Fi hotspot called The Reading Room  on 42nd st between 5th and 6th avenues.

The Portable Uni, a temporary Read-Fi hotspot

We have been discussing with  the people at the Uni Project, which is a portable temporary outdoor  reading room,the possibility of  Read-Fi enabling an outdoor space in Chelsea with a  permanent Uni.

 Recently a Citybench was added to Muhlenberg Library, this has turned it into a defacto  outdoors  Read-Fi Hotspot.

Proposed prototype sign to let public know that Muhlenberg is now a Read-Fi hotspot
for more on theMmuhlenberg Read-Fi hotspot proposal use this link:
Muhlenberg Library offers More seating to Patrons

Rec-Fi Hotspots
 Most of the Chelsea areas  parks and other public open spaces contain very few active and social recreation activities for adults.   We'd like to see Chelsea Rec-Fi enabled  with Recreation Station Rec-Fi hot spots placed in  Chelsea's parks and other public open spaces. Recreation Stations contain a variety of portable active, social and solitary recreation items.

Contents of Recreation Stations Hot Spots  will be custom stocked for the unique needs of each location. One for seniors would contain things like mahjong, rummy-q, and scrabble,  a children's one would containitems as  jump ropes, hula hoops, lego sets, and toys.  Shown here, a prototype Recreation Station Rec-Fi Hotspot for a Community Garden area.

Fit-Fi Hotspots
fixed location Active recreation equipment for adults.

Coldspot:no active recreation
 Log signal strength: Locations that offer only 1 or 2 activities
 High signal strength: locations offering a variety of activities for all age groups.

Adding a outdoor ping pong table ($700-$4000) or Fitness equipment are medium cost ways  to create Fit-Fi hotspots or to increase signal strength of existing ones. 


Some Fi-Fi equipment can be placed anywhere. Here is a photo from Daug, China showing  active recreation equipment that is embedded into a sidewalk.







and here's LA's just open Active Recreation parklet that has Foosball and Fitness  bikes


Yes, there is foosball. (Siobhan Burke)
Yes, there is foosball. (Siobhan Burke)
Enjoying one of the parklet's exercise bikes. (Siobhan Burke)
Enjoying one of the parklet’s exercise bikes. (Siobhan Burke)

  More on Fit Fi Hotspots


Play-Fi Hot Spot

Free playspace for Children

Coldspot- no playspace
Low signal strength: 1 or 2 activities
Medium signal strength:
High signal strength: many activities

Adding a  Recreation Station to a space can transform it into a Play-Fi hotspot or  transform a low signal strength location into a high signal strength location.

Seat-Fi Hotspots
If you've walked around Chelsea looking for a place to sit outdoors you've noticed most of Chelsea is a coldspot with seats few and far between.. The Park Chelsea map shows all currently available outdoor Seat-Fi hotspots. The goal of Park Chelsea is to" Seat-Fi  enable" all of Chelsea  with a "Seat near every street" you can find our newest Seat-Fi hotspots here.

Chelsea's  Desmond Tutu Center has this  garden that's  great to look at, but not open to the public. It was a neighborhood coldspot.

The addition of a Citybench has transformed this from a coldspot to a Seat-Fi hotspot

Coldspot-no seating
Low signal strength: Benches in a park or open space
Medium signal strength: tables with fixed seating, or  benches on sidewalks
High signal strength: tables and moveable chairs

Scientific studies have shown that High signal strength Seat-Fi hotspots facilitate conversations between people  link

Green_Fi Hotspots
A Community garden is a Green Fi hotspot. The Chelsea Garden Club has turned Chelsea's  8th/9th Ave green ways bike paths  into Green-Fi hotspots. The addition of Community Gardens to NYC parks can greatly increase the number of Green_fi hotspots in Chelsea.

 Free-Fi Hotspot
A Free-Fi hotspot would turn a location into a place where people people could recycle goods. Chelsea's Penn South Co-op's has Free-Fi hotspots for residents  in many of their laundry rooms. No reason they can't be added to more publically accessible locations.
 A Free-Fi Hotspot at the Penn South Coop

Toy-Fi Hotspot
A Toy-Fi Hotspot would be a toy lending library  in a convenient public locations
Toy Lending Libraries are kinda  like book libraries  the main difference being  you take out toys instead of books. 

 New Zealand,  has more than 200 toy libraries and about 4 million people, in contrast to the U.S., which has the same number of toy libraries and a population of more than 300 million. 

  By having a top library it will provide toys to Chelsea residents who can't afford the latest, greatest and expensive toys. link 


There are presently no Toy-Fi hotspots in Chelsea

. There are public libraries who have toys in their library so  
one possible location to create a Toy-Fi hotspot would be the Mulenberg Library.


Hi Fi Hotspots


Hi-Fi was the original Fi. It's music. Adding a musical instrument to a space add life to it. link



Age Fi Hotspot

A location with activities for seniors

. Senior Centers are Age-Fi Hotspots

Senior playgrounds are Age-Fi hotspots  


Food-Fi Hotspots

Food-fi is having food vendors at a location. It's not one of the No Fee-fi's but eating is a very popular activity in outdoor spaces, and can do a great deal to get people to use a spot. We're for Food-fi with several  caverts, we're against their placement when Food-Fi 

 -is added in Lieu of the No-Fee Fi's 

ex:The Callente Cab Company is a restaurant that has essentially  usurped a public space  link

-Pushes out the No Fee-Fi's

 ex: In Union Square Park,  an area with 150 restaurants and no free active recreation locations for adults,  the BID wishes to replace a community space with a high priced restaurant   link