Ken Greenberg on planning parks and open spaces as a network

Ken Greenberg gave a great interview to Civic Action’s Emerging Leaders Network a few days ago with his take on the new thinking that’s needed about how we plan parks and open spaces in our cities. Greenberg is the Principal at Greenberg Consultants and also on the board of Toronto Park People (where I work). He is the former Director of Urban Design and Architecture at the City of Toronto.

In the interview, Greenberg speaks about the need to plan parks and open space as networks of different kinds of spaces in order to respond to the challenges of a growing, dynamic city. This is a topic Greenberg has spoken about before in an interview he did with Spacing Magazine back in July.

“Very often what’s important is not just the individual spaces, but the networks,” Greenberg says, such as our streets, trails, and other public spaces.

“If we only follow the traditional roots, which is to have a sum of money to go out and purchase a piece of land and try to create a park, a traditional park, as a discrete separate thing in the city–there are limitations to doing that: the land has become extremely expensive, it’s hard to get a hold of large pieces of land. So this means we have to get much more creative.”

Greenberg also offers some good advice to young people out there:

“Be bold. Be inventive. Don’t accept the strictures and the conventions and all the reasons why not. Because there are lots of them. You’ll hear that all the time: we can’t do this because this, that, or the other. But really push back if you have good ideas. And persevere. Be patient, but also be forceful.”

Be sure to follow Ken on Twitter.