Why is it that so many communities are so perfect, and have all the recreation facilities surrounding where the people live? It makes life more enjoyable, less stressful, and it makes it safer for raising a family as well. People that live in these types of areas are healthier, happier, and they get the exercise they need. The quality of life that is gathered from proper urban development of this type is almost incalculable from a monetary standpoint.
I’d like to introduce you to an expert on the topic, someone that has written a very excellent book, one which I believe everyone in urban planning and design should read. Also for those folks that are building master planned communities which include recreational facilities, parks, and so forth need to take a gander at this book. The name of the work is;
“Recreational Planning and Design,” by Seymour Gold, 1980
The author Seymour M. Gold has a PhD in urban and residential planning from the University of California at Davis, where he specializes in environmental planning. The book goes through the history of how these types of communities have come forth in America. In this book he takes us from the 1600s to 1980. Chapters;
- 1600-16 14 Boston Commons
- 1700 to 1712 municipal Forest in New Hampshire
- 1800 to 1850 Chicago Park
- Central Park in the 1840s
- Golden gate Park in 1865
- By the 1880s these types of communities became commonplace
The history in and of itself is totally fascinating and interesting, but when it is put into a modern context Mr. Gold literally explains how to make the magic happen. He speaks about urban planning and population lifecycles and recreation and how they peak over a ten-year period and how they change when couples reach their 40s.
He explains the need for bike paths, horse recreation areas, skateboard parks, field sports, tennis, amphitheaters, parks, and picnic tables, hiking trails. He speaks of private airports, hang gliding, recreational sailing, water features, and the issues with mosquitoes. He even brings us to the present with golfing communities and how to make them work.
He talks also about the negatives when communities are not built correctly; poverty, crime, maintenance costs, pollution, civil disobedience, social class separations, increased rules, over policing, intense taxes, and fees. Thus, this book and research project brings us full circle; past, present, and how to design things better for the future and what to avoid.
Anyone who has a degree in urban planning needs to read this book, along with all the young people growing up now using SimCity design techniques to design our future towns, communities, and cities. Please consider all this.