Thursday, October 25, 2018

Programmed and managed

The primary story here is that there are apparently new rumors about where the mayor might be thinking about moving City Hall to.  But we can't get much clarity on what those are.  We can know that such plans might involve Duncan Plaza, though, because they are affecting the timeline for renovations there.
Recalling a recent conversation he had with Mayor LaToya Cantrell, (Downtown Development District Director Kurt) Weigle said he was told the city may need Duncan Plaza's land to move or expand City Hall.

"Generally speaking, we understand the mayor is looking at all options to improve or move City Hall and until a final decision is made, there could be some role for Duncan Plaza to play in that," Weigle said. The plan is for Duncan Plaza to be under construction next year, but he added that he's not sure of the timeline the city is on to make a decision on City Hall.
The Duncan Plaza redesign has been in the works for a few years now.  We keep hearing about how "outdated" the current look is but I've never understood what that means.  The article lists ways to improve the drainage and lighting that sound pretty good.  But, fundamentally, a park is still a park. It's an open public space where people are free to come and go and enjoy.  Weigle seems to have different ideas about that, though.
Weigle said the district sees the reimagined Duncan Plaza becoming a highly active space, hosting frequent exercise classes and events.

"Parks that are highly programmed and highly managed become successful," Weigle said.
In other words,  it will be "programmed" in the sense that a lot of things happen for which the city and DDD can collect fees. As for "managed" one can't help but read into that a deliberate attempt to keep the homeless and other undesirables out which has been a major obsession for city government for some time now. 

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