Urban Parks Reinvented


Published: 6Sep2013

Published on July 19, 2013 | Gazette
Written by Monique Beaudin

The city park ain't what it used to be.

While most parks in Montreal still have playgrounds, grass and sports fields, green spaces all over Montreal are being overhauled to offer residents a host of new types of recreational activities in more natural settings. While today's parks are evolving, they still have a lot in common with those original public parks, said Raphaël Fischler, director of McGill University's School of Urban Planning. "The park is a place for children and adults to play, a place of greenery that offers emotional or sensorial respites from the city," Fischler said.

"It is a place of social gathering." At the beginning of the 20th century, municipal governments saw the parks as a place to bring together new immigrants in order to teach them a common language and prepare them to participate in civic life. Today, Fischler said, there's a recognition that people use parks for a variety of reasons.

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