Five Senses Of A Park Analysis

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To accurately process information about one 's surroundings, humans use five senses to interpret them. In 2011, Gehl wrote about how the five senses work in both physical and social situations. He mostly described the perception and optimal distances for each sense. But how does this relate to parks? Every park has a designer or many. These designers had to plan out every element from obvious aspects like bridges and playgrounds to seemingly arbitrary details like how tall a ledge should be or how wide the paths should be. When designing a park, the three most important human senses to consider are sound, smell, and sight.
What a person hears when they are inside a park can significantly affect their experience. For instance, if they hear city
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Although it is a mere few meters away from the street, the park was designed to block out sounds like traffic. Using features like a waterfall to provide white noise, one would not suspect that they were only a few steps away from the nearest street. The trees provide a sort of roof to this park as well, protecting the people from the summer heat. The combination of sounds of water and the shade of the trees provide a sense of shelter and serenity throughout the area. But, there is one possible flaw in this design, and that is the white noise only covers about half of the park. When someone is sitting on the far side of the park towards the street, they can still hear faint echoes from the nearby traffic and might not even hear the waterfall at all. With the use of an artificial stream or a fountain in the center of the park, more area can be covered to give everyone an equal experience no matter where they are in the park.
The sense of smell is often overlooked and not seen as important, as the human sense of smell is extremely weak. But even an inferior sense of smell can be overpowered by an innumerable amount of flowers, trees, and other plants. Having the feeling of being in nature can be an excellent tool for relaxation and stress relief. Just blocking out the sounds of the city is only part of it, when you are blocked from the pollution of the city and can smell the fresh air from the abundance of trees
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Although the paths are not straight and the placing of structures seems random, this park was designed almost perfectly. There is a rare balance of play areas and trees in this park, making it very peaceful but at the same time a place for recreation. This park also does not try to block out the city but takes advantage of the beautiful skyline that surrounds it. It also creates the illusion that Chicago is a city in a garden from some angles, especially when it appears that there are skyscrapers rising up behind trees and grass. One addition that would be helpful and take advantage of the skyline would be to add more hills. While it would not give the same sensation of escape, it would still be as peaceful as the other parks to gaze out and see the skyline from a higher vantage point.
There are many factors that go into designing a park. Designers do the best that they possibly can and sometimes they may look over little details. However, searching for outside opinions like in La Villita Park has proven to be successful as well, as they used surveys around the neighborhood. While all five sense is important to appeal to, the senses of sound, smell, and sight, are the most imperative when it comes to park design. These designers do an excellent job of engaging all these senses in their parks and although most of it is overlooked, it is still meaningful and should be appreciated

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