Blog Post 7

Urban Recreation

According to Professor Stein, some characteristics of Urban Recreation include:

  • Need to preserve
  • Significant personal effort
  • Communication
  • Self-actualization

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My passion for hiking links urban recreation to grater urban ecology. I enjoy taking hikes in Tilden Park, which instills a need to preserve the natural area I hike in. I put in significant personal effort to ensure I live in a more sustainable way especially when in the park and utilize communication and self-actualization to meet other likeminded people to hike with or attend nature events with.

I actually find Professors Stein’s emphasis on leisure and recreation contradictory to her Plants and Wildlife lecture. For example, children typically enjoy grassy areas to run and play sports, yet Professor Stein calls for wasteful lawns to be replaced with drought tolerant plants or “more useful orchards”. I think this stark contradiction fails to understand the complexities and interdependencies of the three types of sustainability: ecological, economical, and equitable (social). When looking at the NY Plan to increase parks, they are not necessarily only focusing on ecological sustainability, but how to increase opportunities and infrastructure for the at risk populations. For example, Initiative 5 in the plaNY calls for creating and upgrading flagship parks. “With additional investment, these parks could have the space and features to serve a large amount of people…rebuilding McCarren pool as both an outdoor Olympic-size pool and a year-round recreation center…indoor track and field facility”(38). I would suggest that recreation in urban areas should not simply focus on either people or ecology, bur rather how they best can exist together.

I would argue that urban recreation and urban ecology at times were presented as separate concepts but are obviously intertwined. The purposes of these two concepts are to show that providing opportunities for urban recreation allows for better urban ecological stewardship. It is critical for people to be educated on the importance of Urban Ecology and how their own recreation and hobbies are part of the process.

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Sources:

PlaNYC 2011- Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Environmental Design 4B Lecture 3/14/17 and 3/16/17

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