The Huffington Post: City Shaping VII: Connecting San Antonio

May 08 2016 - Written By: Charles A. Birnbaum
Photo By: The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Parks and open spaces are taking center stage in North America’s urban renaissance as multi-purpose catalysts and vital connective tissue. The reuse and rehabilitation of extant infrastructure is creating innovative and inspiring new sites, and spurring a renewed civic aspiration for design excellence. As noted in previousCity Shaping articles, consequential and noteworthy work is molding Houston, TX,Toronto, ON, and many other places with projects of varying scale that skillfully achieve ecological, social, and cultural objectives.

On a recent tour of San Antonio, TX, it became clear that the city best known as the home of The Alamo and River Walk is creating a significant and brilliantly interconnected system of parks and open spaces. San Antonio Mayor Ivy R. Taylor, at a March 2016 conference organized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation about landscape architecture and urban planning in Houston, outlined an ambitious goal: “In San Antonio, as we approach three hundred years of existence, we’re trying to ... create [an] emotional relationship between place, history, ecology and people.” Based on the variety of projects I toured in San Antonio (some still underway), it’s clear that civic leaders, design and planning professionals, foundations, conservancies, and other agents involved have ambition, vision, nerve, and, it appears, well-conceived game plans. The significant difference between the approaches in Houston and San Antonio is the depth of commitment from private philanthropists, which is considerable in Houston but noticeably less so in San Antonio, where, instead, a significant player is the San Antonio River Authority and its non-profit partner, the San Antonio River Foundation.

Learn more by clicking here for the article from The Huffington Post.

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