Cities as Communicative Change Agents
Edited By erin daina mcclellan, Yongjun Shin and Curry Chandler
1. Planning for Change: The Rhetorical (Re)invention of Urban Parks: KAITLYN HAYNAL, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, U.S.
1. Planning for Change: The Rhetorical (Re)invention of Urban Parks
Urban parks are valuable symbols for promoting sustainable capital, environmental, and equitable development of competitive cities. However, many contemporary urban parks exhibit signs of degradation from decades of use, misuse and neglect, necessitating significant urban planning initiatives to restore these vital green commons. The documents written and designed by urban planners to envision park restoration reflect plans for change through institutional intervention. Looking at the post-industrial city of Pittsburgh, in this chapter I conduct a critical rhetorical analysis of the 2000 Pittsburgh’s Regional Parks Master Plan and Regional Parks Master Plan 2012 Update to analyze how themes of sustainability, urban identity and livability, and future cities are rhetorically figured in urban park planning. As a “living” document, designed to be updated over time, I argue that the Parks Master Plan reflects how changing institutional needs impact urban planners’ pursuit of creating a parks system suitable for developing Pittsburgh as a sustainable city of the future.
Keywords: city planning, institutional intervention, parks, planning documents, Pittsburgh, post-industrial, public space, sustainability, urban studies, rhetorical criticism, spatial representation
The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies, and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources; it is a right...
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