Page:Olmsted report on Portland, Oregon parks, 1903.djvu/6

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REPORT OF THE PARK BOARD

vince any student of municipal development that the parks should be acquired in accordance with a general system. Many cities have one or more parks in which their citizens may justly take pride, but comparatively few of these cities have what can properly be called a comprehensive, well-ballanced and well-developed system of parks, a system which will compare favorably as to completeness with, for instance. the system of public schools, or the system of tire protection and other principal departments of the city government.

The backwardness of municipal park systems is not so much due to lack of public intelligence and public spirit, as to a defective development of the love of beauty, as compared with a well-developed appreciation of practical, utilitarian progress.

5—Parks Systems Should Be Comprehensive.

A park system should comprise all the various units which go to form a complete system. Some cities, Savannah, for instance, have a liberal provision of public squares, but few, if any, play grounds, parks and boulevards: some, New Orleans, for instance, have boulevards and parks, but few, if any, play grounds and neighborhood parks; some, Washington, for instance, have public squares, boulevards and parks, but few, if any, playgrounds; some, Chicago, for instance, have parks and boulevards, but few public squares and local parks; some, Philadelphia, for instance, have parks and public squares, but few connecting boulevards and play grounds.

6—Park Systems Should Be Well Balanced.

The various social and topographical sections of a city should be suitably supplied with the various units of a system according to their needs and natural opportunities. It not infrequently happens that the sections of a city in which the population is most dense and most in need of squares, play grounds and local parks, are almost wholly devoid of these advantages because no well-balanced system has been devised and carried out while land was sufficiently cheap and comparatively unoccupied so that now the expense is prohibitory.

7—Parks Should Have Individuality.

Unless a special and intelligent effort is made to secure individuality in the improvement of each of the public squares, parks and boulevards of a city, they are liable to repeat each other too much. The West Side parks of Chicago resemble each other to a regrettable degree. Each has its little, crooked lake, its green house and flower beds, its little lawns, its curving level drives and walks, its bridges and statues, its plantations mainly of the same selection of trees crowded