Urban Parks Movement

Public urban parks are a product of a reform effort that emerged in the mid-19th century to ameliorate the living conditions of working people. In the United States, the best known park advocate was Frederick Law Olmsted, who, with his partner Calvert Vaux, conceived of and promoted the construction of Central Park in New York City (1858) and the Emerald Necklace in Boston (1878–80), as well as some of the most notable parks in other large cities in the United States. Never easy to fund, the case for parks was always pitted against the potential for profit from the undeveloped real estate, and the possibility that parks would attract lower classes into more affluent areas. Related conflicts continue to this day.

Over the course of the ...

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