Imagining a Town Square Park for Everyone

An historical rendering of Town Square Park, courtesy of USKH.

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



  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send email to before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

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)

SUBSCRIBE: Get Hometown, Alaska updates automatically — via email, RSS or podcasts


Listen now: