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The Brandywine: An Intimate Portrait by W. Barksdale Maynard (review)

The Brandywine: An Intimate Portrait by W. Barksdale Maynard (review) Sadly, half a century after Olmsted's death, his quote--the book's title--was upended by the highway builders. The great planning was undermined, both downtown (with the Buffalo Skyway, an out-of-place "eyesoar" that sucks traffic and vitality out of the city) and also in Olmsted's own Delaware Park (with the conversion of lovely Scajaquada Parkway into a highspeed expressway). Will Buffalo ever rebound from its economic doldrums? This is the haunting question that almost mocks the book's title. And if it does, will it be due partly to the Olmsted-Vaux park system? In the landscape architecture world there is much rhetorical allegiance to slogans like, "You can't have a great city without a great park system," but what about the converse? Can you have great parks and a mediocre city? For people with a job or a pension, Buffalo provides a terrific quality of life--high levels of amenity and low cost of living. For poor people it's a different story, with few jobs and few opportunities. In theory, Buffalo should turn the corner--there is plenty of cheap housing available, the park system is a draw, there is plenty of water plus a surfeit of electricity from Niagara Falls, and--who knows?--climate http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the land University of Wisconsin Press

The Brandywine: An Intimate Portrait by W. Barksdale Maynard (review)

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Publisher
University of Wisconsin Press
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Copyright © University of Wisconsin Press
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1553-2704
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Abstract

Sadly, half a century after Olmsted's death, his quote--the book's title--was upended by the highway builders. The great planning was undermined, both downtown (with the Buffalo Skyway, an out-of-place "eyesoar" that sucks traffic and vitality out of the city) and also in Olmsted's own Delaware Park (with the conversion of lovely Scajaquada Parkway into a highspeed expressway). Will Buffalo ever rebound from its economic doldrums? This is the haunting question that almost mocks the book's title. And if it does, will it be due partly to the Olmsted-Vaux park system? In the landscape architecture world there is much rhetorical allegiance to slogans like, "You can't have a great city without a great park system," but what about the converse? Can you have great parks and a mediocre city? For people with a job or a pension, Buffalo provides a terrific quality of life--high levels of amenity and low cost of living. For poor people it's a different story, with few jobs and few opportunities. In theory, Buffalo should turn the corner--there is plenty of cheap housing available, the park system is a draw, there is plenty of water plus a surfeit of electricity from Niagara Falls, and--who knows?--climate

Journal

Landscape Journal: design, planning, and management of the landUniversity of Wisconsin Press

Published: Oct 18, 2016

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