More than Parks_Final Presentation to Council

Report
INNOVATING PARKS:
A Proposal for a Natural Durham
JAY SULLIVAN
DUKE UNIVERSITY
TRINITY COLLEGE, CLASS OF 2016
PRESENTATION TO DURHAM CITY COUNCIL
Introduction
 Current state of Durham parks and urban planning
 What can the future be?
 Academic research for design and planning
 Case Study, Example of a park development
 A Complete System-Not Just Parks
 Application of principles-Accomplish the goals
Current Approaches to Parks
 Penny on tax rate to build and maintain parks and trails,
make it a priority of city
 Recreational, open spaces
 Green Infrastructure-making connections
 Enhance natural capacities when possible, more
minimization
 What is Urban Environmental Design (UED)?
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Evidence-based creative protection and enhancement of natural
systems to provide for the health of humans and preserve
ecosystems-Schauman, 2013
Structure, but unstructured and innovative
The Soul of Durham Parks
 The Problem

Durham does not have the capacity
or focus on innovative park spaces
that serve multiple purposes, and
concepts for parks do not easily
translate to broader urban planning
 The Solution


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Parks cannot be controlled - Hubs of
life
Public spaces – Design communities
around green spaces with parks as
both natural ecosystems and
community centers
Increase maintenance, equal access
to parks (natural benefits to having
many with good design principles)
Ecological Democracy and Sustainable Design
Randolph T. Hester writes in his book, Design for Ecological
Democracy, in such a society:
 "Actions are guided by understanding natural processes and
social relationships within our locality and the larger
environmental context. This causes us to creatively reassess
individual needs, happiness, and long-term community goods
in the places we inhabit. Ecological democracy can change the
form that our cities take creating a new urban ecology. In turn,
the form of our cities, from the shape of regional watersheds to
a bench at a post office, can help build ecological democracy"
(4).
Humans and Nature
 “Biophilia is the innate tendency to focus on life and




lifelike process.” E.O. Wilson--Harvard 1984
Emotional, spiritual, and neurological connection
Environmental psychology (sense of home, exploration,
complexity, and coherence in natural spaces) Rachel and
Stephen Kaplan U/Michigan
Life demands directed attention (higher stress less
health), but nature solves that by providing relief
Biophilia, prospect (strength) refuge (hide) and hazard
(danger)
Biophilic Design
 Multifaceted Parks - A human and
environment element
 Biophilic Design creates a good habitat
for people in a modern built
environment that satisfies the need for
beneficial contact with the world and
enhances the natural environment
 Connection to nature


We need to feel, touch, and explore
We care more for the sustainability of the planet
when we have something to value and protect
Applied Biophilic Design
 Integrate with widespread action
 Benefits to City of Durham
 More than Durham Central Park


Add more green, nearby nature, barriers
such as highways destroy this
Need local parks and connectivity for
fauna and humans
 Benefits to citizens


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Scientific evidence and educational
opportunities
Neuroscience, immunology, sensory
deprivation, social contact, and growth
Children mature in their world-epigenetics
Environmental Benefits
 Connective park system provides habitat for local flora and fauna
 Provides ecosystem for animals and ecosystem services for the
community
 Deal with storm water at the source, lack of necessity of pipes and
shows water to people
 Daylighting streams
 Sun and air improve aquatic habitat, increase real estate value, reminds people of

it, remove armored side slopes and increase roughness with vegetation, water
purification-wetlands
Dye Creek-flashy streams that flood and not at equilibrium) Trinity Homestead
and Wall Town
 Consistent symptoms of the “urban stream syndrome” include a
flashier hydrograph, elevated concentrations of nutrients and
contaminants, altered channel morphology and stability, and
reduced biotic richness, with increased dominance of tolerant
species (Paul and Meyer, 2001, Meyer et al. 2005). Jrnl of North
American Benthological Society, vol 24, #3 [sept 2005] pp 706-723.
Burlington, Vermont
 The Green Machine-Storm Water Management

Pervious surfaces, constructed wetlands (green streets leach pollutants/reduce
runoff and green the city streets clean at source and create habitat), Green Roof
 Constructed wetlands, waste and storm water treatment - on site
or at crucial water locations
 Urban Greening
 Sidewalks as water treatment
 Need to let things grow for urban wildlife, beautiful engineering
develops urban habitat for animals and people
Case Study: 220 E. Main St.
 Adaptive Reuse-An example people can learn from
and develop values toward
Case Study: 220 E. Main St.
Evaluating Durham Parks Master Plan
 Extend principles of greenery and environmental
services to planning and execution of urban spaces
 Connectivity and equal access for all

Increase access by developing community parks that serve
connective and local access services-humans and nature
 Focus on mitigating recreational/athletic space
development while enhancing other resources

Use roofs, walls, and sidewalks/swales to create ecosystems
 Green infrastructure must be a priority in the
Durham urban landscape

It will be well received, if executed with UED principles
Engage the Public and Promote Stewardship
 How to engage public to make it happen
 Parks4Durham
 Get citizens involved in planning and execution process
 Develop capacity for Green Durham
 Ecological democracy
 Equity of Access and Voice in City Decisions
 Planning that builds communities and build environmental
capability
 Urban Environmental Design Principles
 Biophilic cities model-Features of city connect to nature
 Parks integral to extensive efforts in the community
 Create a city that is livable for people
Vision for the Future
A Bright Future, a Green Durham
References
 City of Durham Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2013
 Durham Trails and Greenways Master Plan
 Central Durham Gateways Plan
 Downtown Durham Master Plan
 Design for Ecological Democracy, Randolph T. Hester
 Urban Transformation, Ian Bentley
 Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature, Douglas
Farr
 Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life, Stephen Kellert
 Lecture and Class Notes from ENV 253: Urban
Environmental Design course at Duke University

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