Pier A Park among nation’s top urban parks
Wow! Good positive news about Hoboken!
The Urban Land Institute has included Hoboken’s Pier A Park as one of the nation’s Top 10 urban parks, ranking #8 on the list of 10.
Rounding out the top ten are: Allegheny Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh; Campus Martius Park in Detroit; Capitol Plaza in New York City; Chess Park in Glendale, Calif.; Heart of the Park at Hermann Park in Houston; Jamison Square in Portland, Ore.; Waterfront Park, in Louisville, KY; South Boston Maritime Park in Boston; and Wade Oval in Cleveland, Ohio.
Here’s what they had to say:
As cities get denser, open space—whether small spaces tucked in the middle of a block or large swaths of land along a waterfront—are crucial to providing breathing room and supporting public life. They can increase property values in the surrounding area and provide amenities and a distinctive identity that help draw businesses and new residents. The best parks are well integrated into the urban fabric around them, with clear connections to surrounding uses and good sightlines that give visitors a sense of security. They are designed to appeal to different age groups and bring together different communities, offering spaces for more than one activity, from calm contemplation and rest to recreation, social interaction, or entertainment. Their design involves input from the public, either formally or informally, so the result reflects the particular needs and desires of local communities. The projects that follow, all completed in full or in part within the last ten years, have these elements in common. Four of them are located along reclaimed waterfronts or riverfronts, and nearly all of the others have some kind of fountain or similar feature, testifying to the importance of water as a counterpoint to the hustle of urban living.
8. Pier A Park
Hoboken, New Jersey
Landscape Architects: Cassandra Wilday & Associates, Hoboken, New Jersey, and Arnold Associates, Princeton, New Jersey
Pier A Park is a testament to the power of a community to influence waterfront development. After voters nixed a proposed 3.2 million-square-foot (297,674-sq-m) project on the Hudson River that included high rises but little green space, the city of Hoboken drew on many of the recommendations of the local grass-roots Coalition for a Better Waterfront to produce a new plan that offered the city badly needed open space. Opened in 1999, Pier A Park was the first completed portion, placing a five-acre (2-ha) park on top of a former shipping pier. It offers half a mile (0.8 km) of walkways, groves of trees, extensive lawns, bike paths, a covered pavilion, and a performance area. Extending three city streets connected the city to the park, which provides views of the Manhattan skyline. New offices, housing, and shops have also sprung up around the park. The city of Hoboken owns the property; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey provided funding to build the infrastructure and public spaces.
You can read about the other nine parks HERE (registration required).