The excellent PPS.org website has a list of the World’s Best and Worst Public Parks. There are 24 parks on the list and I have visited only 15 of them. One could have a long discussion about which is THE BEST so I have added the word INFLUENTIAL to the title of this post. With this qualification, there can only be one answer: St James’s Park in London. My argument is presented in the above video: St James’s Park influenced the planning of greenspace park open space systems for Adelaide, Paris, New York, Boston, London, Moscow and a host of other cities. With regard to ‘linkage’, London’s open space system was influenced by Le Notre’s north-west projection of the axis of the Tuileries Gardens. So my vote might have gone to the Tuileries – but it is the ‘Tuileries Garden‘. And, as the video makes abundantly clear, the pelicans agree with me. Who can argue with a pelican? After all, ‘What do a vulture, a pelican and a taxman have in common? Big bills!’
The PPS.org comment on St James’s Park is as follows: This wonderful park is a spiritual place, and far and away the best park in the heart of London… It sits between Buckingham Palace and Whitehall with great views to either side. It is spiritual place, and far and away the best park in the heart of London. Its only real rival is Queen Mary’s Gardens, which has many similar qualities, but is buried deep in Regent’s Park. Personally, I do not see Queen Mary’s Gardens as being either the same type of space or half as good as St James’s Park. But we could do with a reliable assessment system for the quality of Public Open Space POS.