York Urbanist

Pittsburgh – Independence Day

July 5th, 2012

The heat and humidity reinforced the problems with walkability of this city.  This series of highways and bridges with a city in them escalates the temperatures that limited our usually limitless desire to explore.  One’s first inclination is to find the water, but the rivers’ edges are hard with no relief from the searing sun. 

The July Fourth concert in the park was nearly devoid of people. Only the treed edges had human occupation.  The Waterfront regatta attracted the mightiest of heat lovers, but then mostly in the few shady patches.  One could only wish to have been one of the water skiers who fell into the river, protected from the tainted waters by wetsuits. One thing can be said for the planning is that a walkway seems continuous along the river’s edge. Grafitti belies its positive use.

What the city lacks in walkability and lack of trees is made up for by the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden.  There is no comparable Canadian horticultural display. Art, activity, sustainability demonstration and horticulture blend to make a complete experience, which we rushed through in three hours.

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