Schuylkill River Park

“Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Park complex, an eight-mile manicured recreation trail paralleling an active freight railroad along the east bank of the Schuylkill River is an excellent specimen of post-industrial interstitial planning.

It also represents a dramatic break with Olmstedean park planning—though the park still reflects unnatural naturality with its clusters of antediluvian boulders and dramatically reconfigured riverbank lawns. But the main theme of the park is not to transport users out of an urban world but to foster reflection on the infrastructure of the city itself. In this way does the park resemble what the Germans call a landschaftspark such as that at Duisburg Nord in Bavaria: a multi-use playground for vigorous activity built on a former brownfield site.”—-Chris Dougherty.

Breaking with Olmstedian park planning indeed! Mount Royal Park in Montreal is an Olmsted design, and while it is a wonderful park, it is more about preserving a natural site than reclaiming an industrial one as part of an evolving narrative as Chris suggests above. Here is the entire essay from Chris’s blog,
The necessity for ruins.

~Enabling Safe Access to a City Park~

~Free Schuylkill River Park~

~Letters To City Council~

~Schuylkill River~

The Falaise (escarpment) Saint Jacques runs along Turcot Yards’ north border. It is, like Mount Royal and the Saint Lawrence River itself, a significant sign of our geographical heritage. It deserves a better fate than to be a pleasant, yet very neglected backdrop to the light industrial buidings the city seems to have in mind for the future of Turcot Yards.

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