Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Urbanologist Max Grinnell: City Parks Are Threads in an Urban Tapestry

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Urbanologist Max Grinnell: City Parks Are Threads in an Urban Tapestry

Article excerpt

Frederick Law Olmsted, father of urban landscape architecture, once described the ideal city park as a place where citydwellers "may stroll for an hour ... and find the city put far away from them." Boston University professor, urbanologist, and author Max Grinnell, who immerses his students and his walking tour groups in the sights, sounds, and stories of Boston and Chicago neighborhoods, celebrates city parks for much more than the quiet reprieve they offer. Grinnell studies parks in relationship with their surrounding urban landscapes, their histories, and their shaping social and economic forces.

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Below is Grinnell's list of cross-disciplinary must-reads--books that "inform conversations about cities ... and also provide grist for the mills of those who tend to urban parks and spaces."

Paul and Percival Goodman. Communitas

Written by two brothers, one a social critic/poet and the other an architect/ professor, Communitas is an extended meditation on three very different types of communities: one centered on consumption, one on artistic pursuits, and another on maximizing human liberty.

William H. Whyte. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Where do people sit in urban parks? …

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