Following yesterday’s post one might think I have only disparaging remarks for council, however on occasion the city does get it right. The sharper eyed will notice that things the city gets right are largely events – development, not so much. More on that tomorrow:
(1) Market Square* outdoor public skating rink:
This is probably one of the most inspired redevelopments of a public space that I can think of. It has the right scale, it respects the visual history of the area and lastly but most importantly it actually draws people almost every day of the year. I am not even a particularly good skater, and yet the mere existence of this rink has brought me out to skate more times than I would otherwise do;
Recommendation: leave it as is – don’t try to get clever and jam more functions into the square – it works right now.
(2) Movies in the square;
If you are detecting a theme here – it is for the reasons listed above – the square is a particularly appealing public space. The introduction of family friendly movies into the square during the summer period was an inspired move. The only suggested improvement I could make would be to close off King between Market and Brock in order to reduce the traffic noise generated by the cobblestones.
(3) The sponsored decorations in City Park;
Generally I am not overly suppportive of corporate sponsorship – especially the in your face variety which seems to be ‘gracing’ public spaces these days – however I do rather like the sponsored Christmas decorations in City Park. Arriving from the airport a couple of weeks ago, the taxi took King St and as we passed in front of City Park it was quite pleasant to see the warm and welcoming lights amongst the trees.
Recommendation: Keep it up.
Once again, this is about scale and location. The city, in offering up Market Square as a venue does things right again – detecting a trend perhaps? The trick will be to keep the festival from becoming too big;
(5) The Sheep Dog Trials:
Not strictly speaking a city activity – but as it does take place at Grass Creek Park (a city owned space), the continuing support of the city in this particular event deserves recognition.
* I refuse to refer to by it by its corporate name – nor should any Kingstonian with an ounce of pride for the city.