Today, urban parks have become an integral feature of most modern cities. This course describes the origins of urban parks—from private urban-palace gardens to the large, open “natural” public parks so critical to urban life today. The design of these parks, from formal Italian and French gardens to British Landscape gardens, is discussed. The course also examines the changing view of nature in Europe and America, from the Renaissance to the present, and how park design was influenced by this evolving view. The design was strongly influenced by the changing view of nature’s psychological, spiritual and even supposedly medical benefits, and by the need for “parks for the people” as an expression of the new democratic spirit in a changing world. This course also includes two of New York City’s most famous parks, Central Park in Manhattan and Prospect Park in Brooklyn.
Prerequisites: Completion of first year writing requirements