BRAND viert World Parks Week

Van 29 april tot en met 7 mei was het World Parks Week! In die week worden parken over de hele wereld gevierd met feestelijke programmering, maar in Nederland staat deze nog niet groots op de agenda.

Wij grepen het moment aan om met elkaar na te denken over de meest inspirerende stadsparken – in binnen- en buitenland – die wij kennen. Gedurende de hele week plaatsten wij de favoriete parken van ons team op Instagram. Geen Instagram, of heb je het gemist? We zetten onze persoonlijke top-9 hieronder op een rij mét motivatie:

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1. Hama Rikyu Gardens, Tokyo
Judith: “Nature and tradition play an important role in Japanese daily life. The Hama Rikyu Gardens show how these elements can blend into the urban grid of even hypermodern cities such as Tokyo. You can still see the remains of the many former functions of the park – dating back from the Edo Period. The gardens are popular for long strolls around the pond and traditional tea ceremonies in the central teahouse.”

2. Tempelhof Park, Berlin
Anke: “Tempelhof is not your typical park: it was once the largest airport of Germany. After it closed, the area was given back to the people of Berlin by turning it to a large urban park. There’s a lot of activity. Locals go there for practicing sports, flying kites and even gardening. It’s a great example of placemaking.”

3. Merrion Square Park, Dublin
Folkert: “Trace the footsteps of Oscar Wilde and visit the lesser-known – and usually quiet – Merrion Square Park. It’s surrounded by beautiful Georgian houses. Oscar lived at number 1. Several tributes to Oscar Wilde can be seen in Merrion Square Park. The bronze statue of a pregnant woman in the picture – sculpted by Danny Osborne – represents Oscar’s wife Constance.”

4. Parc de la Tête d’Or, Lyon
Claudia: “It’s one of the biggest urban parks in France and a favorite weekend spot for locals. The beautiful golden fence makes you believe that you’re entering a royal garden. It’s easy to spend the whole day in Parc de la Tête d’Or: visiting the rose gardens, the greenhouses, the public zoo or the lake, or hopping on the tourist train to find a nice picknick spot. It’s the perfect place in the city to escape everyday life.”

5. Jardim Gulbenkian, Lisboa
Gwenda: “Imagine a forest, a park and a garden at once, with a museum and an art library. Where you can walk barefoot in a stream and visit open-air concerts. That’s Jardin Gulbenkian.”

6. Vondelpark, Amsterdam
Melina: “Not only Amsterdam’s most famous park – named after 17th century playwright and poet Joost van den Vondel – but also my front yard until recently. It used to be a favorite spot for me and my friends to gather during summer evenings. In summer there are plenty of open-air music performances and plays. It’s really nice!”

7. Forest Park, Portland
Bo: “Forest Park is simply stunning. Only 10 minutes from downtown, city and nature blend together in this area. A lot of natives like to take their morning run, bike ride or dog walk in Forest Park. And remember: Portlandians are extremely friendly – so expect a lot of enthusiastic greetings during your hike.”

8. Bryant Park, New York
Rinske: “From above, Bryant Park looks like a tiny bit of green amid Manhattan’s skyscrapers, but the park means a great deal to its users. On an average day it’s filled with locals, office workers and visitors. There’s an impressive year-round programming, with from open-air dance parties and performances, but also small spontaneous activities such as chess and petanque. And the best thing: local entrepreneurs and other organizations actively help in funding and maintaining the park. It’s an excellent example of how to make a great publice space in a bottom-up way.”

9. Stadspark Grotekerkplein, Rotterdam
All:  “Opened just 3 weeks ago, Stadspark Grotekerkplein is a brand new park in Rotterdam. It’s located on a unique spot in the middle of the city, right next to the medieval Laurens Church. Grotekerkplein used to be a gray, plain square. By testing different kinds of programming and physical elements – like free tai chi classes, picknick benches and even a pop-up park – we discovered how the place could really meet the needs of both locals and visitors. The municipality of Rotterdam has continued this development by transforming the square into a real park: a green oasis in the city, that has something to offer for everyone. We love it!”

Foto header: Jean-Christophe Benoist