Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Urban Pleasure

At the end of last summer a new park was developed over what was basically
a waste land between old rail tracks and a parking lot for buses. The
end of theBatignolles neighborhood-in all its charm, once ended in this eyesore but thanks to the efforts of the Mairie
and other interested parties, we now enjoy a lovely, functional and
environmentally sound park. I love this kind of urban renovation that
transforms an unfriendly and pollutant filled area and turns it into
something people can profit from and which gives back to the land. Laid
out over a 4.3 hectares (so the sign reads), this park is laid out with
stone pathways, surrounded by trees and native plants and other flora
that contribute to thebiodiversity and help rejuvenate air and soil,
solar panels and a windmill have also been installed. The watering
system is recuperative and therefore very environmentally sound. They
have installed children's playground for young kids and older. Skate
ramps, basketball courts, and chaise-lounges for the adults. It is
refreshing to see people really use the space and have fun with it, as
opposed to the typical French park which warns you to stay off the
grass and rather sit on a bench andobserve the manicured beauty. It's
the kind of project that should be top priority for all cities and
zones that have for one reason or another, become desolate and
forgotten. Rather than leave an area that promotes depression if not
violence in a neighborhood, why not create aspace that everyone can profit from? Seems like a good idea to me.

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