All of Anchorage is invited to an April 26 event in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts to imagine a modified Town Square Park. Organizers are calling it a charrette. What the heck is a charrette? It sounds like a $1M word when a five-cent one might do; as if only the people who understand that word get to participate.
Nothing could be further from the intent. According to the planners’ website, “a charrette is a collaborative design process where, over a short time frame, a group of individuals address a design issue.” It’s a public meeting where you not only come together to discuss something, you might even draw your vision of what it could look like.
Change is in the air for Town Square due to a number of reasons. Some feel the hilly and treed space isn’t safe. Others think there’s too much cement in what should mostly be green space, a respite from downtown concrete. Still others say a busy park is a safer park and opening up the space may make it easier to stage events there. A consortium of community groups joined forces to host this free event open to everyone. Ideally, diverse users of Town Square will participate so multiple visions of a successful park will emerge.
Our show today hopes to set that stage. We’ll talk about the park’s formation and history, the challenges of living with the current design, and some of the redesign potential for the park. Helping us along in the studio will be longtime Alaska resident John Blaine and landscape architect Dwayne Adams. By phone, we’ll include some additional perspectives to enrich the conversation. Most importantly, we hope to hear from listeners on their views of the park and if and how it should change.
Town Square Park Charrette
Saturday, April 26, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
Jointly sponsored by UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning, Anchorage Downtown Partnership, Alaska State Council on the Arts, The Parks Foundation, Anchorage Parks and Recreation, Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, The Municipality of Anchorage/Long Range Planning Section and Anchorage Economic Development Corporation.
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
- John Blaine
- Dwayne Adams
- History of Town Square Park (Anchorage Park Foundation)
- Man caught in brazen rape in Town Square Park, police say (ADN, June 7, 2012)
- Police: Changing Town Square landscape could cut crime (ADN, Oct. 10, 2013)
- Cleaning up Town Square with Classical Music? (Alaska Teen Media Institute)
- Compass: Don’t turn Town Square into a flat square (Diane Holmes, Oct. 18, 2013)
- Moose kicks woman who came too close in Town Square (ADN, March 7, 2011)
- Alaska Notebook: Town Square rowdies should face the music (ADN, Oct. 12, 2013)
- What makes urban space save? (ADN, Nov. 2 2013)
- Trip Advisor reviews of Town Square Park
- The missing rink: No skiing this year in Anchorage’s Town Square (Alaska Dispatch, Jan 9, 2014)
- Matt Cattrell’s Gallery, “Ice Rink at Anchorage Town Square” 360 Google Map view
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LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 16 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, April 16, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Alaska time)