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Purgatorio Revisited: Berkeley's People's Park

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Earlier this year, San Francisco "Ideas Company," MKThink was asked by UC Berkeley to prepare an Assessment and Planning Study for Berkeley's People's Park. That process has recently erupted into controversy upon a suggestion that the University hold a competition to redesign the historically and culturally significant site. Perhaps the appropriately named local gardner, Terri Compost, best sums up the debate:

It’s really exciting to see riots once in a while, but I really don’t want to see that. People’s Park was created in the spirit of cooperation, so the idea that we could find a design through a competition where one idea would win and others would lose is completely contrary to the spirit of the park ? Others think a competition would be a good opportunity for people to contribute new ideas, and opportunity to fight crime and homelessness in the park, while making it a true destination for locals and tourists alike. So what was decided? Not much yet, but if there is to be a competition, the community advisory board agreed, it must emphasize community involvement and require a feature that celebrated the park’s history. Paging all tree sitters . . .
· People’s Park: Competition or Cooperation? [The Berkeley Daily Planet] [image flickr user pfyeh]