Lisbon, Parque Eduardo VII

This is part of a very large urban park that is completely surrounded by fairly dense construction.

In the manner of the Olmstead parks, this one is probably an almost completely man-made arrangement. I myself have no difficulty with the notion of rearranging urban space in ways that are pleasing to people. It is important, however, to leave big chunks of nature undisturbed. A park is not a wilderness, but we certainly do need wilderness.

At the time this photograph was taken, the park may have been quite new, as it does not have a well grown-in appearance and the trees are still fairly small. This was the era of the City Beautiful movement, in which cities competed with one another to improve the quality of their public spaces. While not everything that was done in the service of this ideal was good, a great deal of it was very fine indeed. Could we arrange a return to this old value?

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