Ten Principles for Creating A Successful Hemming Plaza

April 17, 2012 30 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

In 2005, Metro Jacksonville pointed out to the JEDC and Peyton Administration why the Main Street Pocket Park would struggle to succeed if built. We were ignored and $800,000 later, the chickens eventually came home to roost as our warnings became reality. Now that we're destined to repeat the same mistakes with Hemming Plaza, we'd like to take a step back and examine ten principles needed for a successful urban public space, according to Project for Public Spaces. If the council's committee can embrace and plan from this set of principles, Hemming Plaza will be the centerplace of activity once again.

9. The Central Role of Management

The best places are ones that people return to time and time again. The only way to achieve this is through a management plan that understands and promotes ways of keeping the square safe and lively. For example, a good manager understands existing and potential users and gears events to both types of people. Good managers become so familiar with the patterns of how people use the park that waste receptacles get emptied at just the right time and refreshment stands are open when people most want them. Good managers create a feeling of comfort and safety in a square, fixing and maintaining it so that people feel assured that someone is in charge.  Any short or long term plan involving any public space in Jacksonville should come with a good management plan by the Parks & Recreation Department.

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