Some of the best Urban Parks in the World
Millennium Park is a public park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within Cook County, Illinois, United States and is considered the largest roof garden in the world due to its construction location, on top of a railroad yard and large parking garages.
It was completed in 2004 and now features a variety of public art also being the showcase for postmodern architecture like the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink, the Chase Promenade, the AT&T Plaza and its four major artistic highlights: Lurie Garden, Crown Fountain, Cloud Gate and the Pritzker Pavilion, a bandshell designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry with 4,000 fixed seats plus additional lawn seating for 7,000.
All these features make this park one of Chicago’s best tourist attractions, being bounded by the Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, the Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street.
Portland’s Forest Park is a public municipal park located in the Tualatin Mountains, west of downtown Portland, Oregon, United States and one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves, stretching for more than 8 miles (13 km) on hillsides overlooking the Willamette River and numerous recreational trails like the Wildwood Trail, the centerpiece of the park, passing Pittock Mansion and five volcanic peaks: Mounts St. Helens, Hood, Rainier, Adams, and Jefferson. This park is the home of 62 mammal species and 112 bird species and because of its wide variety of shade-loving plants and trees it is sometimes called the “crown jewel” of this area.
Stanley Park is an urban park of 404.9 hectares opened in 1888 by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada and now bordering downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Project for Public Spaces has ranked Stanley Park as the sixteenth best park in the world and sixth best in North America, being almost half the size of London’s Richmond Park and more than 10% larger than New York City’s Central Park. Every year this park is visited by thousands of people who are in search of recreational facilities and natural environments, with approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) of trails and roads patrolled by the Vancouver Police Department’s equine mounted squad and seawall path circles. The forest remains the highlight of the park, giving it a more natural character, with an estimated half million trees that can be as tall as 76 metres (249 ft) and hundreds of years old. Stanley Park is home to several other bodies of water in Vancouver such as the Lost Lagoon, located near the Georgia Street entrance to the park or the Beaver Lake. The park is also home of the Vancouver Aquarium, the largest in Canada and built around 1956, with a collection of marine life that includes belugas, sea lions, dolphins, Harbour seals, and sea otters.
Golden Gate Park is a large urban city located in San Francisco, California, consisting in 1,017 acres of public grounds and similar in shape but larger in size than Central Park in New York. Golden Gate is the third most visited city park in the United States, with millions of visitors every year and containing some important highlights such as the Spreckels Temple of Music, also called the “Bandshell” where numerous music performance have been staged, the De Young Museum, a fine arts museum opened in January 1921 and named after M. H. de Young, the San Francisco newspaper magnate, the Conservatory of Flowers, one of the world’s largest conservatories, prefabricated for local entrepreneur James Lick for his Santa Clara, California estate and built of traditional wood and glass panes and the Japanese tea garden at Golden Gate Park, the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, designed by Makoto Hagiwara for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 and considered the birthplace of the fortune cookie, also featuring the pagoda and Zen garden and the Drum Bridge and the tea house.
In the park you will also find a pair of Dutch-style windmills built at its extreme western end, with the north windmill being restored to its original appearance and located adjacent to a flower garden.
Central Park is a public urban park located in the heart of Manhattan in New York City, bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the west by Eighth Avenue, on the south by West 59th Street and on the eastern part by Fifth Avenue. Central Park was first opened in 1857, on 770 acres of city owned land and in 1963 Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark, being designed in 1858 by the English architect Calvert Vaux and the landscape designer and writer Frederick Law Olmsted.
Central Park is the most visited park in the United States, with millions of visitors each year and this is due to its numerous entertainment options such as the Central Park Carousel, carriage horses, sports grounds and playgrounds, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, the Central Park Zoo, the Public Theater, presenting free open-air theatre productions, often starring well-known stage and screen actors, the Delacorte Theater which is the summer performing venue of the New York Shakespeare Festival and the Great Lawn, the main location for the New York Philharmonic open-air concerts every summer and the Metropolitan Opera.
Central Park is the home of 1,700 American Elms and the main site for the twenty-nine sculptures made by sculptors such as John Quincy Adams Ward, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Emma Stebbins.
Richmond Park is Britain’s largest urban walled park, its 955 hectares making it almost three times as large as New York City’s Central Park, and the largest of the Royal Parks in London. It is located close to Wimbledon, Roehampton, Richmond, Ham, Kingston upon Thames and East Sheen; during King Edward‘s (1272–1307) reign the area was known as the Manor of Sheen and now is a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation for the Stag beetle.
The Park contains notable buildings such as the Royal Ballet School, Pembroke Lodge, White Ash Lodge, Oak Lodge, Holly Lodge, formerly known as Bog Lodge, Thatched House Lodge and the Isabella Plantation being an important and attractive woodland garden; the park is enclosed by a high wall with several gates and the highest point within the park located at King Henry VIII’s Mound. The gates for vehicular access are open only during daylight hours and no commercial vehicles apart from taxis are allowed; this park is the home of secular trees and over six hundred red and fallow deer.11