Neuchâtel Waterfront Park
How can we envision a park for the 21st century? What role should it play in the contemporary city? What should its programmatic content be? Public spaces are the primary vehicles for collective participation within the fabric of the city. A city without varied and exciting public spaces would be little more than an automated fabric of individual cells and private lives. The challenge today is to keep public space integral to the city’s structure and use.
Most of the parks built in the 20th century continued the 19th century inertia, understanding landscape merely as a decorative element. Urban parks were contemplative areas, where landscape was used to build an envelope for leisure - this being understood as walking, sitting and getting a sense of being far away from the industrial city and close to nature.
The parks for the 21st century respond to a new understanding of the city, and consequently they should be active urban components, key elements in the city configuration on its daily life. They should be incorporated as activity and production nodes, and hence not only as thematic pedestrian pathways.
Clara Solà-Morales with Eduardo Cadaval
Bruno Pereira, Daniela Tramontozzi, Tomás Clara, Manuel Tojal, Dasha Vaimberg