This info graphic was created to comparatively visualize the qualities between the large urban parks that I visited in 2011. The variables that I’m investigating include size, shape, position on map, annual visitors, and date of inception.

The urban park is an impactful place. Humans of the 21st century are spending more time than ever living, working, and socializing in busy, overcrowded, mega metropolises. The 7 billionth person was recently born, and it is estimated that three quarters of the world’s population will be living in cities by the year 2050. Thus the importance of green space allowing this growing population the room to spread out. Aside from the obvious major environmental impact that parks have, we should investigate the social influences. Who uses these parks and what for? Who doesn’t use them, and how can we encourage more of society to take advantage of these pockets of wilderness? 

This project started in part because of a simple question that I wanted to find the answer to: How does the size of Golden Gate Park compare to that of Central Park? Two of the most well-known cities in the world (NYC and SF), just happen to also be home to some of the most health-conscious, creative, forward-thinking communities in the modern world. I’ve personally had the pleasure of calling these two cities home for the majority of my life. One of the many factors behind these remarkable cities are their green spaces. Two of the biggest and most used are Golden Gate and Central Park (they also happen to have a similarly almost perfect rectangular shape). They are frequented by all walks of life, regardless of time of day or weather conditions. In a way these are miniature worlds within their respective cities. One can spend hours roaming around the park and forget he or she is still in the city. This is a powerful thing, and not easily replicated. These two cities are not alone. Across the globe city planners and environmentalists have created spaces for the public to escape from the stresses of their daily lives. 

With this project I’ve begun to examine the size differences between each of the large city parks that I’ve visited around the globe. The park silhouette is assigned a personalized pattern and color. Each unique shape is then layered on top of the other to form a colorful cluster highlighting the individuality of these cities while mimicking the assemblage of communities. A city park has its own way of speaking to people and its physicality largely dictates this communication. People use Prospect Park differently than they would Central Park or Battery Park for example. The Kings Garden in Copenhagen is mostly flat and well manicured with a minimal view of the city, while Dolores Park in San Francisco is quite the opposite. However on a warm sunny day the crowds of these two distant spaces are very similar – mostly young folks looking to enjoy a picnic and a casual game of sorts. 

Parks are more than just a section of town with grass and trees where dogs run around and yuppies play frisbee. Lets investigate some of the benefits a city park provides. Clean air, space to play, relax, exercise, wildlife sanctuary, cultural and educational institutions and activities, social interactions, family bbq’s and picnics, and water irrigation are just a slice of the positive effects on a city that large parks provide.

In this constantly-growing world, public green space is more critical than ever.

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