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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Could a “Central Park” Work for Tacoma?

As I drive through downtown Tacoma, it occurs to me, could a central park work? I mean, could a city block or two of greenery, jogging paths, sitting areas and a fountain make a difference around here? I think it could. Because of all of the still lingering urban decay, a central park would help soften the landscape and provide a much more appealing and interesting place to be and linger. A park would also allow residents to gather and meet. This could especially be helpful and useful during the warm, dry months where meeting outside is actually desirable. Also, it gives the public another community meeting and gathering space for events. I think this is especially important in a city where everyone is seemingly trying to get more people to live and entertain themselves downtown. If the city is concerned about costs, maybe a building could be added and rented out for weddings, events, banquets, etc. If this park is anywhere near UW Tacoma, students would certainly make use of it during sunny days and times in between classes. I also think this park would spur more business development. Businesses seeking to fill a need for park patrons would begin to set up shop around the perimeter of the park. If a small amphitheater or stage is set up, the events can showcase artists, speakers, and musicians here in Tacoma. This doesn’t have to be large, but interesting and welcoming. This park would also give visitors and hotel occupants something else to see and visit while in town. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s not a lot for hotel occupants to do on a Sunday night when everything in a ten mile radius is closed. Who knows, maybe even a smaller version of a sculpture park could work. Nonetheless, as I make my trek through downtown everyday, it appears that there just isn’t enough greenery and nature to balance out the look of the city. You can only take so much of the bombed building look before you decide that something else better can be done.

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