Jane Jacob’s chapter on parks versus sidewalks has stuck with me since we discussed it in class. I agree with her, mostly, and I’m aware of the historical context now. But I still do not particularly like how harsh she was on all parks. Surely, not every single park she’d ever seen had been bad? Looking through, I cannot find a single example of parks working, only ways which streets do better than parks. Not to say that I have never been to a “bad” or “sketchy” park before. The East Park from my small town, also built in the 1950s, happens to be one of the shadiest parts of town.
Despite this, I think there is a place for parks alongside street life. For many youths, parks are one of the few ways to meet people or hang out in groups. A segment of Jane Jacob’s chapter mentioned older people who banned older adolescents from their closed off parks. In my town, the situation is nearly the opposite. I do not remember if the city law passed or not, but old people have actively tried to make it illegal for kids to ride their bikes on the sidewalk and police often harass groups of kids even in parks they technically share. So where can we put adolescents? Granted this is a different situation than Jane Jacob’s experienced. Also, following that line I thought of Borgo Bello’s Terrace as one of those places.
The meeting with the first grade children at the Elementary School went well. I really enjoyed getting to meet them and discover more about their Kaki Tree Project. I particularly liked their drawings. I wish there was a way that we could incorporate them or other art into the terrace somehow, whether on some of the seating or on art poster collages to put on the walls. In the future, I hope we will work with them in some capacity even if we do not focus on the terrace with them. One thing that stuck out to me from the Kaki Project video was the art board which children put their hand prints and other art related things, a possible very nice touch to either our own project on the terrace or their Kaki Project.