Supplement Feature - April 2009
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Designing & Outfitting Your Park

By Sue Marquette Poremba

Pittsburgh's Market Square was once a major gathering space in the city's downtown area, a place where people would come to buy produce from two large market houses that once dominated the neighborhood.

Over the past 50 years, however, the market houses were torn down, and you can now drive through and around the Square. City leaders now see Market Square as an ideal location for a park to help revitalize the downtown area, and plans are under way.

The idea is for Market Square to be a piazza, said Michael Edwards, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and provide more space for outdoor events, recreation and even outdoor seating in the restaurants surrounding the Square.

However, before the renovations could begin that would turn Market Square into a park, Edwards said the planners had to consider a number of issues, beginning with how the city and its residents wanted the park to be used, how to deal with green space issues, what type of programming would take place in the park, and where the money would come from to pay for the park development.