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Landscape public spaces

Landscape public spaces



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Landscape public spaces in Namibia

Most of the African countries in the interior, having relatively cold climates, have little landscaping. As the cities are mostly only lightly populated, this is an area where the population of a country can be quickly increased and where tourist services are of great importance. For South African cities, the same applies, although in South Africa many of the parks and other public spaces were not created as parks, but as military bases, like Orlando West, or to serve as industrial areas. But this is also the case for Namibia, where towns of substantial size have been created to serve various projects or public services. Many of these public spaces are magnificent with the combination of their natural beauty and their central location. There are of course many more parks in Namibia, but some examples will give an impression of how one should design a public space that has to serve both public and private uses.

Witwatersrand

In the city of Johannesburg, and especially the area called Witwatersrand or the Gold Reef, there are the most beautiful public spaces. While these areas have not been planned as parks, many are beautiful in their own right. Some of the best public spaces include:

Schweizer-Park

One of the first parks that was created, Schweizer-Park was planned as an extension of the railway line. The area was not planned as a park until 1925. The Park then still used to serve mostly railway purposes, until it was re-designated as a green space in 1989. Today, the park serves mainly as a recreational area, but it still remains an important neighbourhood and centre for events. In addition to the normal usage of a park, there are also two large amphitheater stages and other more small pavilions with seating. A small botanical garden and a bird park, with some hundreds of bird species, are also located in the park.

Albergo Park

This park is located in the Hout Bay district of Cape Town. Since 1910, it is a very important area for many wealthy people. Over the years, the park has not changed much and has therefore remained an important part of the Hout Bay-Cape Town beachfront. It is a residential and commercial space, but it also contains many of the things that makes a park a park. As the area has not changed much, it contains a number of fountains, impressive sculptures and statuary. In addition to the fountains, the park contains many smaller parks that are still not accessible to the general public. These can only be entered by the residents. In addition to the commercial activity, the space has also a very important symbolic role, since it serves as a representation of the Boer South African commandos during the famous 1901 massacre.

Victoria Square, Johannesburg

This is the largest open space in Johannesburg and is used for a number of events and even has a 10 kilometer long jogging track. However, the heart of this open space, the central square, was laid out much later. Since it is one of the most important and symbolic public spaces in Johannesburg, many objects were built in the centre to represent a number of important historic events. In a similar way, many statues were erected in the park, since it was the centre of the city and thus the focal point. However, many of these statues were destroyed, not as an act of vandalism, but due to lack of maintenance. Therefore, while the park is full of beautiful fountains and public sculpture, they are no longer in good condition. Since the park has also been used as a military base, some of the statues are clearly military statues, some of which were built during the Anglo-Boer War. Even today, the military base is still in use.

Flushing Meadows Park, New York

The Flushing Meadows Park is the central public space of New York City. It lies at the very heart of the city, and the city was very quickly built around this area. In the early years, it served as the place where stock market traders met. Over the years, it was a livestock market until it was used to house the world’s fair, of 1939-40. While this was a very important event for the city, the park was neglected in the years that followed and went into serious decline. The city then embarked on a major re-designing of the park, and it was redesigned into an open park, of which the pond and fountain is the main attraction. The pond was originally built as a reservoir, so that water could be diverted for public works. After the World War II, the park returned to its natural state, with green grass and trees, and visitors started to flock in and use the park as a recreational space. Since the park is located near the central business district, there is also plenty of commercial activity here. The park contains about 40 fountains and many statues, all of which, except the one of Eleanor Roosevelt, are original.

Luanda, Angola

While the capital of Angola, the Luanda, is not an important tourist destination, this does not mean that the city lacks beautiful public spaces. In the year 2000, a building was constructed in the outskirts of Luanda called Vista Alegre. This building serves not only as a commercial building, but it also contains a large public square and serves the purposes of a main park in the area. This public space is located in the valley of the Obo River, and it is divided into three different areas. The first area is a commercial area, where various offices are located. The second area, which is at least as large as the first one, is the public square. The third area is a lower and smaller area, which has a smaller number of objects that make it more suitable for the general public. Even though the large public square was only planned in the year 2000, it is already a beautiful and impressive example of a public space that serves both commercial and recreational purposes.

Nome, Alaska

The small town of Nome is located in the Arctic Circle. The town contains a relatively large open space, that is used for various activities. Over the years, it was used as a landing spot


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