Photos by MJ Klein
Today’s Mini Park is a strip park that’s built along a busy road in Hukou.
In Taiwan, cities and towns will build parks on any available piece of land, including thin strips along side a busy road.
This one happens to be in my neighborhood. One side is being rebuilt and they’re putting up one of those fake brick walls. The above 2 shots were taken facing West. Now I’ll turn around and walk East though 2 sections that were finished some time ago.
This shot shows the entire width of the park.
Along the street are benches.
I walked further East, turned around and took this shot facing West. In the distance you can see that red fake brick wall. This park was recently finished as you can tell from the sod.
This closeup shows one of the hard, cold fake wood benches.
But honestly, who would want to sit here anyway, with this for a view? That is unless you want to face the road and watch traffic or look at an office building.
Continuing on, we come to another section that was finished previously. Note how the path begins abruptly on the left.
Note this unusual date fabricated from stones.
This section of the strip park has actual toys for children to play on.
But the very first thing that struck me about them is how close they are to the road. Don’t kids sometimes fall off these things? I don’t have any and I’m certainly no expert on children but I’m not sure I would want my kids to be playing on these toys so close to a major road.
Some of the toys are familiar to me from my playground days, like this set of steering wheels. I used to imagine I was steering a huge ship, or a big fire truck.
Of course, where I grew up, protruding sharp hardware like this is prohibited.
This is our opening shot, taken at the far East end of the long continuous strip park, facing West. Technically this is several parks but for all purposes it seems to be one single long park.
On my way back I decided to walk on one of the paths. For some reason the grass never took hold here (except between the stone tiles). I can’t see any reason why anyone would want to walk down this path anyway.
I find this design to be lacking, let’s say. But again, no one seems to use it anyway. My guess is that this project looked great on paper and make someone look good for coming up with it.
But this is the actual real use for this wasted piece of land.
Sad, isn’t it? But even so I try to find time to use these parks that I present.
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