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Laney-Walker revitalization project includes neighborhood 'pocket parks'

Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 9:00 PM
Last updated Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 1:11 AM
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Small but mighty – that’s how urban design experts describe “pocket parks” such as the one recently completed as part of the Laney-Walker neighborhood revitalization project.

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A bulldozer sits in a cleared lot where a small park will be constructed after a new residential unit is built on the adjacent lot, bringing more green space to the urban area.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
A bulldozer sits in a cleared lot where a small park will be constructed after a new residential unit is built on the adjacent lot, bringing more green space to the urban area.

A patch of landscaping on Florence Street near recently constructed duplexes and houses is part of an urban concept that adds green space to a neighborhood. Two more pocket parks are planned for Heritage Pine, the development that jump-started the revitalization effort.

“We are dusting off some of those old assets that were part of communities 15 to 20 years ago,” said Hawthorne Welcher, the assistant director of Housing and Commu­nity Development, the city department overseeing the Laney-Walker revitalization.

The tiny park on Florence Street isn’t big enough for groups to loiter in and has just enough space for neighbors to walk dogs or have a conversation, he said. For those who want to play basketball or tennis, the recently renovated Dyess Park community center is available.

The pocket parks are a step in the right direction, but Laney-Walker needs more park and recreation space, said Mike Davis, an architect from Boston.

Davis visited in July to lead a team of national experts in sustainable urban design that was assessing Laney-Walker.

“The alternative to a pocket park is often an abandoned lot,” Davis said. “It’s a huge and better use for a tiny space of land where otherwise you would put a Dumpster.”

Pocket parks are common in urban locations and denser cities where a space isn’t big enough for a building or parking, he said.

The study led by Davis recommended three types of green space in Laney-Walker: public parks surrounded by businesses; recreational space for sports or festivals; and green space for crops and urban farming.

Each pocket park costs between $5,000 and $8,000 to build, and the final two should be completed next summer or fall, Welcher said. They will be maintained by the Recreation, Parks and Facil­ities Department.

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itsanotherday1
45610
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itsanotherday1 12/10/12 - 02:05 am
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I'm encouraged there is

I'm encouraged there is thought towards productive revitalization that may make a difference in culture.

seenitB4
91146
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seenitB4 12/10/12 - 07:31 am
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1
anotherday

Let us hope you are right....

Riverman1
87593
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Riverman1 12/10/12 - 08:22 am
2
1
"The tiny park on Florence

"The tiny park on Florence Street isn’t big enough for groups to loiter in and has just enough space for neighbors to walk dogs or have a conversation, he said."

Let's hope. But I've long advocated new housing developments in Columbia County be required to include a park of some kind. The buyers of the houses are funding the parks in that manner. In Laney Walker the residents get parks funded by the rest of the county.

soapy_725
43817
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soapy_725 12/10/12 - 10:21 am
0
0
Waste of taxpayer money.....
Unpublished

but who cares. It only takes a street corner to provide loitering space. Plant some more trees and grass. Build a water park at Regency Mall. Do nothing about the roaches that infest the community. These social engineers have never been outside. Central Park does not make NYC a safe town.

countyman
20730
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countyman 12/10/12 - 01:20 pm
1
1
All of the city owned parks

All of the city owned parks in neighborhoods are funded by the rest of the county...

Diamond Lakes, Apple Valley, Woodlake, Brookfield, Wood, Dyess, Hickman, etc...

Riverman1
87593
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Riverman1 12/10/12 - 03:42 pm
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Countyman, understood, but

Countyman, understood, but what makes this different is the apparently numerous parks in that neighborhood funded by the county. There is a big park not that far away. Do other neighborhoods get miniparks?

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 12/10/12 - 08:41 pm
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They did in a slower more

They did in a slower more thoughtful age, doberman. National hills, fruit land estates, Vineland, all designed to be within walking all neighborhoods before 1970. They are an area of government I'm glad my tax dollars go to. Too bad in certain sections of the city some residents feel unsafe walking to them. Would probably help obesity levels I'm this town if more people could enjoy it and feel safe doing so

bentman
462
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bentman 12/11/12 - 12:15 am
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Just big enough

"The tiny park on Florence Street isn’t big enough for groups to loiter in and has just enough space for neighbors to walk dogs or have a conversation, he said."

Just big enough to make a drug deal.

seenitB4
91146
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seenitB4 12/11/12 - 08:50 am
2
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omonm

I kinda like doberman...suits him...LOL

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