Jonathan Quail 0417881
October 18, 2011
Professor R. Picton
Bordering McDonnel, Murry and George N, is the park known as Confederation Square. This park is located across for Peterborough City Hall and is a space for remembering the soldiers who have died in armed conflict beginning with the first World War. Besides the emotional importance of the square it also has importance for urban geographers and citizens due to the diversity of space and the location of the square. Three streets and one fence that protect that side from an adjacent parking lot border the square. Closer to the end with the fence is the memorial statue and plaques. From this central area, the design of the walking path is similar to that of the ‘garden city’ model of urban planning. There are pathways that connect both the north-east and south-east corners, or at the connections of the streets to the memorial with a total of five pathways that connect the street and memorial. The space in-between the pathways are grass with trees mainly lining the walkways. For seating the place offers stationary benches around the memorial and along all of the walkways. The lay out of the land is well defined and specialized in theory, but the interaction with the square from people outside and people inside with determine the success or failure of this particular urban land use. Drawing on criteria defined in the J. Jacobs and W.H. Whyte articles(83-96), the safety and success or failure of the place can be evaluated with specific criteria. The square is located across from Peterborough City Hall and is an area of people in political office and authority to come and interact with the square. This would increase the eyes that are on the park increasing the safety of the park (85). There is also only one side that has a fence, which allows open views of the square from those inside and outside. There are also many lights that surround the memorial, which provide an increased diversity of the space. Due to its location the square is often used as a short cut, and the lights extend the overall use of the square into night. There are no lights along any of the walkway, which decrease the safety of the square at night.
According to Whyte (96) the success of an urban space relies largely on its connection to the street. As mentioned above, there are pathways that extend from the corners of the street into the center of the park. The transition between sidewalk and the pathways is seamless and invites people to enter the square. As remarked in Whyte (92-93) people will meet on walkways and usually stop to talk. The square offers an alternative to this as the seating, benches, are recessed from the walkway. This allows for an uninterrupted flow of people walking through the square.
Along the pathways the square provides seating in the form of benches. The benches are permanently placed reducing the choice for the users in where they want to sit. The benches also have clearly defined end points, which effect user interaction with others in the square and the square itself (94).…