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Urban Land Banking Prairie In Chicago

August 19, 2014 Environment, Featured, Parks, Planning & Design, Real Estate, Travel Comments Off on Urban Land Banking Prairie In Chicago

Yesterday’s post was about an interesting parking garage in Chicago, today is the story of why I went up to the top of the garage.

A long block was a prairie with native grades & flowers, it looked well kept because a wide border was mowed.
A long block was a prairie with native grades & flowers, it looked well kept because a wide border was mowed. A concrete curb separates the natives from the tidy lawn.
From the top of the adjacent parking garage you can see fenced-in prairie.
From the top of the adjacent parking garage you can see fenced-in prairie. Click image for map link. 

My assumption is this is a way of land banking until Northwestern decides to build on the land. The block held a large zig-zag 1940s/50s building, razed sometime within the last decade. The block is fenced, it isn’t used as a park. Land here, between Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, is much too valuable to sit vacant. The campus map doesn’t identify it.

The result is a very neat looking, but easy to maintain, block.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers: Allowing A 7-9 Year Old Child To Play At A Local Park Is NOT Child Neglect

August 13, 2014 Featured, Parks, Sunday Poll 1 Comment
Children's playground in Lucas Park
Children’s playground in Lucas Park

In the poll last week most readers agreed the two moms arrested the week before shouldn’t have been arrested, letting their kids play in the park wasn’t child neglect. To refresh your memory:

In South Carolina a mom was arrested after allowing her 9-year old daughter to play in the park unsupervised:

She spent 17 days in jail, temporarily lost custody of her girl, thought she lost her job, and still faces 10 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect. (CBS News

A very similar case reported in Florida the next day when a mom allowed her 7-year old to play in a park:

Dominic was playing when Port St. Lucie Police pulled up. Police took him home and arrested his mom charging her with child neglect. (source)

Here are the poll results.

Q: Is allowing a 7-9 year old child to play at a local park ‘child neglect’?

No 120 [71.43%]
Maybe 35 [20.83%]
Yes 9 [5.36%]
Unsure/No Opinion 4 [2.38%]

Comments on the post raised valid questions, such the time frame between letting a kid play and neglect; apparently one mom had her kid play in the park while she was at work.  I don’t know that we can put at time frame applicable to every kids. I know I was away from home for hours at a time as a child. My concern is those who answered “Yes” and “Maybe” might be too over protective.  As kids get older they need the freedom to gain independence.

A Psychology Today post titled Parenting: Raise Independent Children, Are you raising responsible or contingent children? addresses the issue:

One of your most important goals as a parent is to raise children who become independent and self-reliant people. Certainly, in early development, your children count on you. As infants, they rely on you for nourishment, cleaning, and mobility. As your children grow, they become more independent in these basic areas of living, but still depend on you for love, protection, guidance, and support. As your children reach adolescence and move toward adulthood, they become less reliant on you and gain greater independence in all aspects of their lives. This process of separation prepares your children for the demands of adulthood. But this progression toward adulthood is not inevitable and is often stymied by well-intentioned, but misguided, parents.

Contingent Children

Contingent children are dependent on others for how they feel about themselves. Some parents want to foster this dependence. These parents act on their own needs for power and use control and coercion to ensure that they remain the dominant forces in their children’s lives. Contingent children can be recognized in the following ways:

Depend on others to provide them with incentive to achieve.
Depend on others for their happiness because they have no ownership of their lives and little responsibility for their own thoughts, emotions, and actions.
Reinforced with inappropriate rewards and no limits, and regardless of their behavior.
Poor decision makers because their parents hold the belief that they always know what is best and make decisions without soliciting their children’s wishes.

Independent Children

Independent children differ from contingent children in several essential ways. If your children are independent, you have provided them with the belief that they are competent and capable of taking care of themselves. You offered them the guidance to find activities that are meaningful and satisfying. You gave your children the freedom to experience life fully and learn its many important lessons. Independent children can be recognized in the following ways:

Intrinsically motivated because they are allowed to find their own reasons to achieve.
Were given the opportunity and guidance to explore achievement activities of their own choosing.
Parents use extrinsic rewards appropriately and sparingly.
Collaborative rather than a controlled relationship with their parents in which the children’s ideas and wishes are solicited and considered.
Good decision makers because they were allowed to consider various options and, with the support and guidance of their parents, make their own decisions.

The world is no worse than it was 20-30-40 years ago, we just have more news outlets with time to fill. Keep your kids safe, but please make sure they learn how to become independent.

— Steve Patterson

 

Poll: Is Allowing A 7-9 year Old Child To Play At A Local Park ‘Child Neglect’?

August 3, 2014 Featured, Parks 9 Comments
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar
Please vote in the poll, located in the right sidebar

The St. Louis region has many beautiful parks, many within walking distance of resident’s homes.  But last week events in South Carolina and Florida might give parents pause before allowing their kids to go play in the nearby park.

In South Carolina a mom was arrested after allowing her 9-year old daughter to play in the park unsupervised:

She spent 17 days in jail, temporarily lost custody of her girl, thought she lost her job, and still faces 10 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect. (CBS News

A very similar case reported in Florida the next day when a mom allowed her 7-year old to play in a park:

Dominic was playing when Port St. Lucie Police pulled up. Police took him home and arrested his mom charging her with child neglect. (source)

Judging by the online discussion of these two arrests I thought this would make a great poll question for this week. Here’s the question: Is allowing a 7-9 year old child to play at a local park ‘child neglect’? The poll is in the right sidebar, you can share your thoughts in the comments below.

— Steve Patterson

 

Lid Over Highway Takes Shape, Old Elevated Highway Needs To Be Replaced With At-Grade Boulevard

The long-desired “lid” over the depressed section of the highway is now taking shape.

Lid over the highway
Lid over the highway underway, July 18, 2014

Once completed you’ll enter the museum on the opposite side, through an opening in the grass mound. See the drawing below:

This should be the view in October 2015
This should be the view in October 2015

Orienting the museum toward the city is the correct thing to do, just as making the highway a boulevard in the future. The lid will allow visitors to cross a boulevard at the center, my primary objective is to remove the elevated section north of Washington Ave/Eads Bridge. This stretch was known as I-70 for decades, but once the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge opened it was renumbered I-44.

This divides  the historic Laclede's Landing from downtown.
This elevated highway divides the historic Laclede’s Landing from downtown.

 

Though many of us would’ve like this to have been concurrently planned, we’ll just need to keep pushing.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Getting To Fair St. Louis In Forest Park

Fair Saint Louis begins today in Forest Park. The event is usually held on the Arch grounds but will be relocated to Forest Park this year and next year due to City+Arch+River construction.

For weeks now we’ve been hearing complaints about having to pay $30/car to park in Forest Park. I’m glad such a premium is placed on parking, this has hopefully forced people to consider transit, carpooling, etc.

Layout of the fairgrounds within Forest Park
Layout of the fairgrounds within Forest Park

For those who have mobility issues, there is is a substantial walk just to reach a gate. If you’re taking a friend or family member that has difficulty walking distances please consider taking their manual wheelchair along, no wheelchairs will be available in the park. The best view of the stage will be from the top of Art Hill, which is accessible using the trail & sidewalk network.

Links:

We’re taking MetroLink to Forest Park tonight to see the fireworks, are you going to Fair Saint Louis?

— Steve Patterson

 

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