Humanistic Urbanism & the Humble Neighborhood Park

A Neighborhood Park in Warsaw

Parks are vital for sustainable urbanism.

I love photographing city parks and researching the importance of urban nature for multiple reasons including benefit for multiple species, mitigation of urban heat effects and as important spaces for human interaction, play, fitness and leisure – benefiting multiple dimensions of health. 

Warszawa is rich with urban nature. When I refer to this particular small neighborhood park though, some people comment ‘That’s not really a park.’ 

My response: shock.

I observe and ‘study’ parks with a mind on multigenerational and inclusive, accessible use. 

If you don’t have kids and rarely think about their needs, maybe you don’t notice the creativity and diversity of play environments when you pass them by. 

If you’re not considering the needs of parents and caregivers, perhaps you forget to notice how great the tree canopy over many benches is by the play area. 

If you’re not generally thinking about elderly people, you might not notice that on a beautiful Spring afternoon, the benches are full of elderly people relaxing and socializing, most of them probably residents of the immediate area. 

 If you are not thinking about mobility impaired and disabled individuals and how accessible the city is for them, you might not notice how many people in wheelchairs and with walkers are relaxing on benches around the local park (likely residents of the area).

Parks are a community asset and the humble neighborhood park an incredibly important space. I look forward to increasingly focusing on the importance of urban nature in my work on sustainable cities. Are you working with issues of urban nature and would like to connect? Email