The Soup Bowl in the City of Lakes
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Minneapolis residents value parks for many contributions to the public realm – as a green escape from the city, as opportunities for recreation, as places to gather – but few people think of parks as infrastructure, as landscapes that do work. Indeed many of the functional aspects of park landscape are often hidden from sight underground, behind walls, or behind rolling earthworks made to function as walls; stormwater infrasturcture is a prime example of this. Current stormwater systems focus on moving water as quickly, and covertly as possible, creating a disconnect in the public concious between the water that rolls off their property, and the degradation of lakes and rivers. This is as true for parks as it is for any other property. While parks are, on the surface natural “green spaces”, they are in fact connected to the same problematic system. However, over the past century, the idea of park landscapes as a marriage of engineering, social, and ecological functions has begun to gain traction. Landscapes which incorporate infrastructure into park programs are often referred to as high performance landscapes. One area where this marriage has become increasingly popular is the management of storm water (LSWMP, 2006, p.13). While the idea of layering storm water solutions with recreational uses is not new, it has in recent years become increasingly popular. As increased development in American cities has turned the public and political eye toward more sustainable infrastructure. The focus of this proposal will be to explore the integration of green infrastructure into the program of Lyndale Farmstead, a historic neighborhood park in Minneapolis.