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Supplement Feature - April 2010

Back to Basics

Seven Guidelines to Creative Park Design

By Daniel P. Smith


CELEBRATE & EVALUATE

Upon the project's unveiling, the site should be celebrated and promoted as a venue to enhance the quality of life for area residents and deliver added amenities to the community. An opening celebration should both engage the public and recognize the project's key personnel; after all, reaching the finish line is an exciting feat.

"Celebration at the end of the project notifies the public that the park is ready for use [and] offers an opportunity to recognize all of the players involved, including the community leaders, funding sources, designers, contractors, suppliers and regulatory agency staff," Burch said.

When the news photographers leave and patrons enter the park, however, celebration should turn into evaluation. Designers and civic personnel should be assessing the project's hits and misses and stand ready to adjust accordingly.

"Measure the success of what's been done: Have we met the needs we identified and created a sustainable place?" Inman asks at every project's completion. "You'll know you've hit the winning formula when the neighborhood at large identifies the park as an amenity that speaks to value."