The economic resurgence in downtown Huntsville is bringing residential and commercial development to the area, enticing millennials and seniors alike to spend more time in the City’s urban center.
Mayor Tommy Battle believes part of the allure is Huntsville’s successful plan to integrate public parks and green space throughout the central district.
“We’ve made parks and greenways a priority and believe they are essential to a healthy community,” said Mayor Battle.
In 2018, the City added 17.5 acres to its downtown public park inventory, bringing the total acreage of green space to about 47 acres. The inventory places Huntsville on target with peer cities that benefit from a verdant urban core.
It’s not just about acreage, however. It’s about accessibility. Dennis Madsen, Long Range Planner, says the City is working to improve the linkages to and among the parks through greenways, sidewalks and bikeways.
In 2018, the City added 17.5 acres to its downtown public park inventory, bringing the total acreage of green space to about 47 acres.
“It’s important to note that the quality of the park isn’t just about what’s inside the park, it’s also about what’s around the park,” said Madsen. “What sort of buildings and context frame and activate the public space? Great parks have great edges.”
When the Mayor’s urban development team works with potential developers on new projects, public space opportunities are an important part of the conversation. It might be a pocket park, a plaza, or a greenway connection, spaces that lend themselves to settings for public art, fountains and pedestrian walkways.
“We’re able to make great strides in securing green space because of our smart planning and community input,” said Mayor Battle. “As more people visit our urban parks, they realize the joys of living in this environment, where shops and restaurants are just outside your front door and walking and biking is more convenient than getting into a car.”
Downtown Public Parks
Big Spring Park East and West
Thrasher Fountain and Canal
Gateway Park and Greenway
Bud Cramer Park
Lydia Gold Skate Park
Cleveland Dog Park
Washington Square Pocket Park
Earlyworks Children’s Fountain
Huntsville Park at Lowe and California Street
Constitution Hall Park*
Huntsville Depot Park*
Councill High Memorial Park**
Redstone Federal Credit Union Public Park**
*redesigned in 2018 and opening as a public park in 2019
**opening in 2019