Tacoma Urbanist

Nov. 10, 2007 at 8:55pm

When is an "Open Space" beneficial or deterimental to Tacoma?

In Tacoma, there has been an increasing discussion of the need for "open spaces."  Yet, how can we determine when they do more harm than good?  When and where should open spaces be located? 

Tacoma already has at least two examples of failed "open spaces" downtown.

James Kunstler describes a useless "open space" in Saratoga:

This idiotic exercise in civic mis-design is called a "green space." The Saratoga City Council strong-armed the property owner into scraping off a strip of parking lot in order to put this in. It's supposed to be a "solution" to a particular problem of poor civic design -- i.e., the fact that there is no building on this important downtown site. What has been delivered is a cartoon of a park. If you ask for an abstraction, you'll get an abstraction. By the way, this stupid "green space" is right across our main street from an 11-acre park by Frederick Law Olmsted.


Tollefson Plaza has been dead for around a year now.  Will enough interest in using the plaza overcome the plaza's design and placement problems?

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