Changing concepts of local open space in inner urban areas with particular reference to Great Britain and the United States
Morris, Eleanor Kenner Smith
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The thesis considers the changing concepts of local open space in relation to the demand, supply and standards of open space. The development of parks in Britain first are contrasted with the development of parks in the United States, noting the legacies in both nations. After the historical resume, the changing attitudes to leisure and recreation in Britain and the United States which have occurred in the last fifteen years are considered. The numerous studies, both in Britain and in the United States, detailing the demand for open space are followed by supply studies of open space, which expose the deficiencies of open space and express people's desires for open space. A comparison of the ideal open space standards to the actual supply and deficiencies of open space are analysed in further local studies. Both private and public organisations in Britain and the United States have carefully fostered ideal standards, which have been unattainable by any of the major cities in Britain or in the United States. The need for new standards and new approaches to local open space designs in inner urban areas is discussed in the chapter on current policies on open space. Different design concepts and methods are suggested for solving the present problems. The concepts particularly emphasised are small parks, greenways and adventure playgrounds, but other suggestions are made. An appraisal of the financial, legal and administrative difficulties is followed by a study of the availability of urban wasteland for public open space. New methods of assessing the multi-purpose use of existing open space and discovering potential new open space sites on a case-study basis are suggested. The concluding chapter summarises the need, character and problems of local open space.