Urban parks are a much-loved feature of the city environment. However, our knowledge of the true scale of their impact remains uneven. Much work has been done on their origins and design features, but this book aims to extend this beyond the nineteenth century, examining the fuller flowering of these valuable spaces in the early decades of the twentieth century. Encompassing themes such as social and political usage, parks as employers and the dangers posed by such freely accessible spaces, the book examines a range of parks in cities such as Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Leeds, Preston, Hull and Cardiff and challenges the prevailing myths about their meaning for their users. This study's timeframe spans almost 100 years of unprecedented social, cultural, political and economic changes and allows for the consideration of the expansion and commercialisation of leisure opportunities for the public. Urban parks played a significant role in this — the book places parks firmly in the context of the evolving city and examines the importance of green space to the urban citizen during this most fascinating of historical periods.
Table of Contents
1. Understanding Urban Parks
2. Parks in the Urban Environment
3. Parks as Social and Political Landscapes
4. Public Parks as Employers
5. Ideal Playgrounds?: Parks and the Development of Popular Recreation
6. Parks and the Green Agenda
7. Public Parks, Leisure and the Popular Imagination
Carole A. O’Reilly is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Salford, Manchester, UK.