In this seminar, we discussed the relationship between parks, public space, and social and environmental justice. Starting with a brief history of how large parks emerged as an important part of city building in the late 19th century, we discussed how the design, funding, and implementation of parks often reflects status quo social and environmental values. Using contemporary examples, we illustrated how “open” and “closed” park space reflect differing democratic ideals of who and what constitutes “the public.” The seminar intends to broaden student understanding of the context in which public parks are created, who gets to decide, and why.
About the speakers:
Dr. Sara Jacobs is Assistant Professor in Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on reinterpretations of landscape through histories of environment, care, and infrastructures of coloniality.