Photo-gallery№ 1 July 2018
Back to basics
The growing pace of urbanisation has led to a heightened interest in the conservation and development of green areas in megacities. IM presents a gallery of parks in different cities around the world.
Zaryadye Park, Moscow
In 2017, Moscow celebrated its 870th anniversary. The authorities’ main gift to the city was the opening of Zaryadye Park, located near the Kremlin. Many projects were considered when discussing what to do with the wasteland left on the site of the demolished Rossiya Hotel, leading to intense debates. However, in the end, Zaryadye Park was the preferred choice of Muscovites, as revealed in a recent poll of the Russian Public Opinion Research Centre – over 70% of city residents supported the project.
The Yokohama Cosmo World amusement park is one of the main attractions of Japan's largest port city. The main feature of the park is its giant Ferris wheel, which was opened in 1989 and for the next ten years was considered the largest in the world. Its diameter is 100m, with a height of 112.5m.
Lumpini Park was built at the beginning of the 20th century on the outskirts of Bangkok – the King of Thailand even gave-up some of his personal land to the park. Today, due to the rapid growth of the city, the park has ended up being in one of the its main business and shopping districts. Lumpini is famous for lizards and turtles living within its reservoirs.
Buen Retiro Park is one of the most popular relaxation spots for residents of the Spanish capital. Initially, it was part of the palace grounds belonging to King Philip IV, who ruled in the first half of the 17th century. Subsequently, the royal palace itself was demolished, and the park was opened to the public. Today, in one of the old palace buildings, you can find a branch of the Prado Museum.
In the Italian capital, city parks are their own, individual category of tourist attraction. The largest park is the Villa Doria Pamphili, located on the Janiculum Hill (Gianicolo) in the historic Trastevere district, 1.5km south of the Vatican. It was built in the 18th century near the villa of the Pamphili family, which was built a century later, when Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamphili became Pope Innocent X. The park was only opened to the public in the 1970s when the villa was bought out by the Rome town council.
Schönbrunn Palace, located in the west of Vienna, was the main summer residence of the Austrian emperors of the Habsburg dynasty. In the first half of the 20th century, after the fall of the monarchy, the palace and the adjacent park were opened to the public. Today, Schönbrunn is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fun fact: it was here in the 1960s that a historic meeting took place between USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev and US President John F. Kennedy.
One of the youngest parks in Russia was opened in autumn 2017 in the capital of the Kuban region. This is the first major park built in Krasnodar over the past 30 years. The project was financed by a private investor – Sergey Galitsky, the owner of the retailer Magnit. The 23-hectare territory of the park is divided into 30 areas, including a garden, a summer cinema, a fountain with a pond (in the winter it turns into a skating rink), a rope park, a climbing wall, a musical and water maze, and playgrounds for games and sports.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Saint Petersburg is one of Russia’s greenest cities. Approximately 40% of the city is covered by either water or parks. In total, there are around 70 parks in Saint Petersburg, some of which were built in the post-war years; however, the oldest parks in the city centre appeared right after the foundation of the city. The first of these, the Summer Garden, was built in 1704 on the instructions of Peter the Great.
In the late 1990s, a new building of the library of the University of Warsaw was built in Poland’s capital. The main feature of the project is a 1.5-hectare botanical garden, which is located on the roof of the main building of the library. It consists of several areas connected by bridges and paths. Walking in this unusual garden, you can enjoy a beautiful view of Warsaw. From spring to autumn, the roof is open to all visitors.
Vigeland is essentially a park within a park. It is a group of 227 sculptures located in the "green oasis" of Frogner Park. This project was conceived and realised in the first half of the 20th century by sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Each of the statues conveys a certain human emotion, often with complex overtones. However, residents of Oslo often use the park simply for relaxation and picnics.
London, Great Britain
London is famous for its parks, many of which have become blueprints for landscape designers around the world. Greenwich Park is one of the largest green areas in the city. It is located on the grounds of former royal hunting grounds. In the 17th century, at the time of King James I, the park was fenced off and closed to ordinary visitors. Thereafter, there were plans to create an area similar to the French Versailles. However, Greenwich has ultimately become one of the favourite relaxation spots for everyday Londoners.
The Tuileries Garden is the most important and famous public park in Paris. Once upon a time, this area was home to dumps and quarries for clay mining, which was used for the production of tiles. The first park in this area was built in the middle of the 16th century, on the initiative of Catherine de 'Medici. For many years this park was home to the Tuileries Palace, one of the main residences of the French monarchy. However, in 1871, during the Paris Commune, the palace was burned down. Yet today the Tuileries is one of the most popular places for Parisians and tourists alike.
The Singapore authorities provided over SGD $1 billion in funding for the construction of the Gardens by the Bay, a nature park covering more than 100 hectares. This was part of a government programme aimed at improving the local quality of life by increasing the amount of greenery in Singapore. In addition to the traditional park area, there are conservatories, greenhouses and the Supertree Grove (vertical gardens). All this is built using the most advanced, energy-efficient.
New York, USA
One of the most famous urban parks in the world is located on the island of Manhattan, in the heart of New York, America’s business capital. The park is 4km long, yet less than 1km wide. However, this does not hinder its popularity. Despite the fact that the park looks like an untouched corner of nature in the shadow of the surrounding concrete jungle, almost all of its features were created by man. The architects of the park were guided by British experience, with some of their guiding models being Birkenhead Park in Liverpool and Regent's Park in London.
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