Restart Montco - Open Space ReImagined
Expanding Our Vision Of Open Space And Trails: How Can We Safely Socialize, Exercise, And Relax Outdoors If Parks And Trails Are Crowded Or Closed?
Given the overwhelming number of people visiting our parks, trails, and open spaces, it is vital that we respond to this increased outdoor recreation demand with creative solutions that provide more space and alternatives to supplement our traditional outdoor recreational spaces. With the exponential rise in outdoor enthusiasts in response to the pandemic and the crucial need for social distancing, simply put, we need more space! The good news is we have it in the form of streets, parking lots, cemeteries, golf courses, and school grounds. While we might not immediately think of these places as substitutes for open space and trails, the opportunity is there for us to embrace them as recreational assets for our community’s well-being during the pandemic. We might even discover these newfound recreational spaces serve us so well that we will continue to use them going forward, folding them into our base of recreational options and habits.
- National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
Guidance tool that synthesizes common methods, trends, and responses that communities are using.
- City of Oakland. Slow Streets Program: The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing Many Aspects of how we Live, Move About our Cities and get Essential Activity.
Program that is a successful model looked at by many cities across the country and world as a way to provide more space for people during the pandemic.
- Winter Is Coming: Four Ways To Keep Snowy Cities Moving During the Pandemic
Article discusses methods to make outdoor transportation and recreation safe during the pandemic this winter.
- Beyond Complete Streets: Could COVID-19 Help Transform Thoroughfares Into Places for People?
New, temporary installations and innovations in streets have shifted people's thinking to consider streets as recreational spaces. These temporary changes during the pandemic have provided an invaluable opportunity to experiment. Article discusses ways to contemplate longer term changes to streets.
- The pandemic is transforming how Americans use public libraries, parks, and streets — and it's depriving vulnerable people of space when they need it most
Article discusses importance of public space and how its use has changed during the pandemic. Early parks were developed in response to concerns regarding public health and resistance to disease although there were disparities then that continue to this day in terms of equitable access to public space.
- City of San Francisco’s Parklet Program.
Reviews the history and elements of San Francisco’s Parklet Program, which is where the parklet concept originated and has since inspired similar programs throughout the world.
- The PARK(ing) Day Manual.
Provides guidance on how to transform parking spaces into parklets.
- Our First Public Parks: The Forgotten History of Cemeteries.
Interview with a University of Missouri professor regarding the history and evolution of cemeteries in America.
- To Bring in New Blood, Historic Cemeteries get Creative with Yoga, Dog Walks, and Picnics
Looks at how cemeteries were once used as parks and how many are starting to encourage recreational uses again.
- Multi-Use Cemeteries: A Place for the Living in the Land of the Dead.
Describes how landscaped cemeteries arose in the 1830-1840s as part of a larger public health and sanitation movement in cities and are considered to be the first public parks.
- Graveyards as green getaways.
Describes how many have turned to cemeteries for fresh air and recreation during the pandemic.
- The Case for Making Golf Courses Public Parks During Coronavirus.
Provides an argument for transforming golf courses into public parks.
- A 145-Acre California Golf Course Was Turned into a Public Park as Local Officials Seek to Open More Outdoor Spaces.
Examines the opening of a public golf course for use as a park during the pandemic.
- COVID-19 Rules Prompt Utah Theater Group to Perform Shakespeare in the Parking Garage.
Describes how a theater group in Utah organized a Shakespeare performance in a parking garage.
- Repurposed Parking Facilities in Post-COVID-19 Atlanta.
Examines the possibility of adaptively using parking facilities as the demand for parking decreases during and following the pandemic.
School Properties/College Campuses:
- Opening Schoolyards to the Public During Non-School Hours Could Alleviate the Problem of Park Access for Nearly 20 Million People.
Study which found that a large number of children do not have walkable access to parks and argue that opening public schoolyards to the general public during non-school hours would benefit communities by providing access to public open space.
- State of Play: A New Model for NYC Playgrounds.
Report describing how more recreational space can be made available, including through the use of schoolyards as playgrounds.
- Need More Outdoor Public Space? Maybe Cities Already Have It.
Describes five ways municipalities could provide additional open space during the pandemic: 1) open golf courses to the public, 2) open cemeteries to the public, 3) keep parks open later, 4) transform parking lots into parks, 5) open school yards and college campuses to the public.
- Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space.
Describes how local governments across the world have instituted changes on their streets in response to the pandemic.
- The Recovery Will Happen in Public Space.
Describes a wide variety of ways that businesses and activities can be shifted to outdoor public spaces such as streets, sidewalks, and plazas.
- Adapting Streets for Safe Outdoor Social Distancing: Many towns and cities are adapting streets to offer more safe space for walking and biking during social distancing.
The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) provided this webinar as an opportunity for municipalities throughout the region to learn how street adaptations could increase the amount of space available to their residents for walking and biking during the pandemic.
- Miracle on 34th Avenue: NYC’s Best Open Street Is in Queens.
This StreetFilms video provides a beautiful and successful example of an Open Street that has taken place in response to the pandemic.