Skip to main content

Until further notice, all CAC walking tours are suspended and the Center at 111 E. Wacker Dr. is closed, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines from the State of Illinois.

As the weather becomes warmer, we are thinking about our public spaces and parks and the role they play in the life of the city.

By Hallie Rosen

Parks provide a relief from the intensity of city living, as well as a place for people to connect to one another and to nature. This week we take a look at the early impact COVID-19 is having on our perception of public spaces; hear from a former New York City chief city planner about how to make public spaces work in cities; and examine the history of Chicago parks and the influence of Danish American landscape architect Jens Jensen.

TED TALK: AMANDA BURDEN

Watch

As New York City’s chief city planner under the Bloomberg administration, Amanda Burden led the revitalization and creation of some of the city’s most familiar features, from the High Line to the Brooklyn waterfront. In this TED Talk about how public spaces make cities work, Burden discusses some of the challenges that come with planning parks.

PODCAST: THE TAKEAWAY

Listen

In this New York Public Radio podcast, Sara Jensen Carr—assistant professor of architecture, urbanism and landscape at Northeastern University—discusses how COVID-19 is already impacting our perception of public spaces.

PROGRAM: RETHINKING GREEN SPACE FOR A MORE RESILIENT CHICAGO

REGISTER

Join leading landscape architect and urban designer Ernest C. Wong at our CAC Live program at 3pm on Wednesday, May 13, as he outlines the tensions that spatial distancing will impose on parks and shared public space for some time to come.

ARTICLE: CHICAGO’S NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS

Read

This article, which supplements Geoffrey Baer’s “10 That Changed America” TV series on WTTW, tells the story of Chicago’s neighborhood parks and why they were created.

BLOG POST: JENS JENSEN AND HUMBOLDT PARK

READ

In this blog post, architectural historian Julia Bachrach provides a history of Danish American landscape architect Jen Jensen and his harmonious use of natural terrain and native flora in Chicago. Jensen’s pioneering work can be found in the West Parks, including the design of Columbus Park and the extensive redesign of Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas Parks. You can also read a full Q&A with Bachrach in this week’s CAC@Home.

CAC Recommends content does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Chicago Architecture Center, members of its board and staff, or other stakeholders.