Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Parks, Plants, and People

I went tonight to a lecture / book-signing party as part of the City of New York Parks & Recreation series, Uncommon Ground, -- "a series of events presenting the ideas of thoughtful and visionary planners and practitioners on how the park system of the future can grow and flourish." Tonight's event was a presentation by Lynden Miller, on the occasion of the publication of her book Parks, Plants, and People: Beautifying the Urban Landscape (New York: W. W. Norton & Company)

If you don't know Lynden Miller, her credits include the design and planting of the Conservatory Garden in Central Park, the perennial gardens at the New York Botanical Garden, Wagner Park at Battery Park, the walk/bike path in Red Hook, Brooklyn adjacent to the Fairway -- among many others.

Lynden presented a very affecting argument for design, plants, and the public realm -- how it makes better communities and city spaces. It was very impressive to note her audience -- current parks commissioner Adrian Benepe and his predecessor, Henry Stern; Alex Garvin, formerly design director of the of Lower Manhattan Development Corporation; architect Hugh Hardy; director of the Columbia University Landscape Design program, Joe Disponzio -- and about 100+ others.