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Members of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed about their favorite spaces. Responses were varied and had many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months.

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Throughout the survey a few locations were consistently mentioned. Over the next few weeks we’ll look at how and why these spots are so popular.

 Paley Park

Paley Park in New York City, designed by landscape architecture Zion & Breen, was one of the most-mentioned places. It was suggested in each of the following categories:

• Favorite iconic space
• Best designed space
• Child-experience space
• Project that changed the profession
• Small, but mighty space (20 percent of respondents picked Paley Park)
• Absolute favorite space.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why.

Favorite iconic space
“This park demonstrates that you don't need a big space to create an effective respite from a dense, urban area.”
“Defined the genre. It’s still a wonderfully intimate, refreshing space.”
“When I stumbled upon this space as a 17-year-old, it was an epiphany! I decided on the spot that I wanted to devote my life to creating elegant public spaces. I was particularly struck by how unprepossessing this small, vacant lot--dwarfed by non-descript buildings--must have seemed prior to the realization of the designers' vision.”

Child-experience space

“Children will feel immersed in a giant waterfall while actually surrounded by buildings.”
“Water + kids = fun”

Small, but mighty space

“It's a microcosm of relaxation amidst the bustle of midtown Manhattan. If you blink, you'll walk right by it.”
“It's still a comfortable and engaging place years after it was first built.”
“Water, scale, the sense of refuge from the street, and the possibility of engagement and isolation.”
“A surprising space that provides respite just steps away from the hustle and bustle of an urban environment.”
“Sandwiched between two buildings in a dense area, the scale is unexpectedly small but perfect. The concept that land used as a public park is as valuable as a high-rise building is very compelling.”
“Its energy--from water, people, trees--is both restful and invigorating: a perfect oasis in the urban desert.”
“Perfect balance of light, shadow, form, function, proportion, scale, and movement.”



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