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  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

    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
    Dead Streets (Streets with little or no activity)     Con Ed(6th@18th)     FIT (8th @27th)
     Convenience store parks
    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

    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