Urban Park Street Edges: Enhancing Functionality for the Performance of the 21st Century City

Cooper, Matthew
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University of Guelph

Parks within the City of Toronto’s urban core are currently facing increased public pressure. “The edge zone” of the park, located at the interface of the street and the park interior, represents an underutilized space with potential to provide alternative park functions and increase the overall performative service of urban parks. Cities in the United States and Canada have launched planning initiatives which have strategized numerous design policies aimed to increase park services. These initiatives include improving edge conditions. This study aims to explore, identify and categorize contemporary edge zone typologies, which can inform design solutions for underperforming urban street park edges. A comparative case study analysis was conducted to identify and highlight a series of these typological forms and functions, as well as illuminate the potential benefits these new edge zone design strategies could provide for the urban park.

Urban design, Park programming, Park connectivity, Park boundaries, Contemporary parks, Park edge spaces