We are not meant to live life alone. One auther noted that the Bedouins in the Middle East, even though living in a desert without modern conveniences, average living beyond the age of 100. Israel researched the "why" and came up with two reasons: The Bedouins eat a very healthy diet and, second, they have no stress in their lives. Why no stress? They live so close together that they help carry each other when the struggles of the day come forth. When some gets sick, there are people there to carry them. When someone is hurting, there are friends that comfort you. When kids want to play, they are never alone. Some of the leading architects note that the "more gathering places one has", the stronger the community ties. So, when planning our urban areas, gathering places, gathering places, gathering places. Your blog talks about great spaces for kids -- that's right. Being intentional about creating great gathering places -- will strengthen the community. No matter where you are: the more open space the better. Creative play; events; impromptu gatherings . . .On the topic of gathering spaces . . . below are photos of the delightful public gathering spaces our family discovered on a summer trip to Asheville, North Carolina. This city has some of the most inviting kid-friendly public spaces of any U.S. city we have visited. One of the highlights is Pritchard Park, which is brimming with activities throughout the day and night. This park is probably the only place in the country where you can find women in pearls sitting next to hippies in tie dye jamming out in a drum circle every Friday night in the summer. Asheville, recognizing the importance of public gathering spaces like Pritchard Park, adopted a goal in its 2009 Downtown Plan of locating parks at 2 1/2 minute walking intervals throughout its downtown.
|Pritchard Park, Asheville, NC|
|Pack Square Park, Asheville, NC|
|Pritchard Park drum circle|