Bare pocket parks have more gravel than plants

On my Meguro walk, I noticed two pocket parks, one newer and one older. Both have a similar plan: wide open space with gravel, and minimal plants, play areas, and seating. I know that one reason Tokyo parks are created this way is to provide a gathering space for emergencies. Yet if emergencies are an every 10, 20 or even 50 year experience, wouldn’t it make more sense to get better use out of the parks in the meantime? In an emergency the plants could be justifiably trampled, but at least they would provide more active natural environments for daily life.

During my weekday visit, I noticed two office guys taking a smoking break (separately), a senior taking a rest, and some high school kids on their cellphones. It would be great if there was also room for vegetable growing, butterfly gardens, bird watchers, and wildlife habitat.

2 comments

  1. I strongly believe that we need to educate everyone about biodiversity in relation to actual spaces already existing in his or her neighborhood. Students learn about biology and plants (maybe), but they are not connected to actual localities. That is why people cannot have visions for better urban life. Those small gardens are not merely the reflections of laziness, but utter lack of imagination.

    That is why an interactive workshop like “Tokyo DIY Gardening,” which you organized last month, was so important for the future of the city.

    生物多様性をもっと実際にすでに存在する近所と関係して教える必要があると思います。学生は生物や草木について学んでも、それが実際に存在する場所(例えば自分の近所)にどう関係するか、といった関係性を全く学ぶ機会がない。それではもっといい都市環境を想像できる能力が育たない。このような公園は怠惰というよりも、想像の貧困が生み出したものです。

    ですからジャレドさんとクリスさんの行った「Tokyo DIY Gardening」のようなワークショップがこれからとても大事になってくると思います。

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