ParkScore

ParkScore is the most comprehensive rating system ever developed to measure how well the 50 largest U.S. cities are meeting the need for parks.Using an advanced GIS Geographic Information System, ParkScore provides in-depth data to guide local park improvement efforts. Our mapping technology identifies which neighborhoods and demographics are underserved by parks and how many people are able to reach a park within a ten-minute walk.Cities can earn a maximum ParkScore of 100. For easy comparison and at-a-glance assessment, each city is also given a rating of zero to five park benches. via ParkScore. Advertisements

When a Parking Lot Is So Much More – NYTimes.com

A better parking lot might be covered with solar canopies so that it could produce energy while lowering heat. Or perhaps it would be surfaced with a permeable material like porous asphalt and planted with trees in rows like an apple orchard, so that it could sequester carbon and clean contaminated runoff. The ubiquity of parking lots has also led to an overlooked social dimension: In the United States, parking lots may be the most regularly used outdoor space. They are public places that people interact with and use on a daily basis, whether working, shopping, running errands, eating, even…

Masur on Olmsted’s Southern Landscapes

Masur tells the story (“Olmsted’s Southern Landscapes, NYT Opinionator, July 9, 2011) of Olmsted’s re-issued travel story of the American South on the eve of the Civil War.  After working to support the North’s soldiers as head of the Sanitary Commission in the first years of the war and spending a few years in California, he returned, at the completion of the Civil War, to open a landscape practice for the design of public parks. [Olmsted’s title, “The Cotton Kingdom,” was a commentary on the bold claim made by Senator James Henry Hammond of South Carolina in 1858 that “you…