Turning the Park Into a Destination
Submitted by Louise Mozingo, Berkeley
We need to think of ways to draw people to and through the site. Currently it’s busy sometimes, and dead other times. How can we maintain a flow of people? Programming and natural traversing are key. Imagination alone, in terms of form, won’t attract people. What about a couple of movie theaters in the neighborhood to get people to traverse the space? Or a concentration of restaurants? This might involve a land use change.
If the current buildings flanking the site are removed, that adds to the open scale of the park, which would be good. If they’re to stay and be retrofitted, can their uses be changed to include residential, retail, and entertainment?
We seem to be in an era of overwrought designs. Don’t underestimate the virtues of rigorously simple space, which is especially relevant in this case, given the cocophany of buildings in the Grand Avenue development surrounding the park. Though simplicity is key, we still need to create reasons for people to traverse the park and treat it as destination.