The Principal Urban Designer for New York City Parks, Mr. Charles McKinney, Hon. AIA, ASLA, made a presentation on the benefits of urban parks to the Architecture and Habitat Design Students from the Autonomous University of Yucatan to highlight the important role parks and green spaces play in the modern urban environment.
The program was sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General in Merida in collaboration with the Architecture Faculty of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY). “Charles McKinney is a pioneer in developing effective urban design for the 21st Century.“ said Consul General Sonya Tsiros. “As a former resident of New York City, I have seen for myself how much well-designed parks can contribute to the life and culture of a city. We hope that the students will be inspired by his insights and motivated to innovate and create their own urban planning ideas for sustainable and livable communities.”
Charles McKinney met with the Director of the Architecture Faculty, Mr. Gines Laucirica Guanche before speaking to a group of 250 students about the important role parks and green spaces play in urban planning and how architecture, landscape, ecology, and park operations come together to create a sense of community.
Mr. McKinney’s presentation focused on the positive benefits well designed parks have on the quality of life and health of a community’s residents. He pointed out that parks encourage people to do physical activities which help a community address the problems of obesity and the high cost of health care. Mr. McKinney was joined by his wife, Susan Chin, Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space, who spoke about innovative partnerships between public and private organizations to fund, develop and maintain community parks.