Something I’ve been reading about recently is the installation of permanent, outdoor gym equipment in public spaces. There are pocket parks appearing all over the country that take unused space and transform them into areas that provide free access to fitness machines. Here’s a link to a City Lab article that talks about several lots using this idea in a neighborhood in Detroit: http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2015/12/outdoor-exercise-equipment-parks-detroit/421017/
Here’s why it could be cool for Kaisertown:
- I do not believe any other neighborhood in Buffalo has a park like this. It’s good to have features that set Kaisertown apart from other neighborhoods in the hopes of those distinguishing factors being used to increase the percentage of owner occupied homes (more interest in the neighborhood by owner occupied buyers hopefully leads to a decline in absentee landlords and corporations buying property as rentals).
- The fitness aspect. A public fitness area can allow free access to fitness machines to all regardless of ability to afford a gym membership or have access to a car.
- The fitness machines are designed to accommodate all types of weather, meaning that they won’t rust in snowy climates. There are also machines that are accommodating to the elderly and persons with physical disabilities.
- Location. Something like this wouldn’t have to be at Houghton Park, but instead utilize some green space in a different part of the neighborhood. Houghton is set back from the main corridor and this could allow development of a new public space in a more central location.
- Interaction. More public spaces leads to more people being outside and engaging with the neighborhood. More foot traffic leads to more ‘eyes on the street’ and a safer environment for all.
Photo below from parks.cityofboise.com: An outdoor gym in Boise
Header photo from English Forum- an exercise park in Zurich