Cemeteries Alive: Graveyards are resurging as green spaces for the public

Source: Peter Harnik and Aric Merolli, Trust for Public Land, e-newsletter, April 30, 2012

Historically, it’s not a new idea. Before there were public parks, cemeteries–most famously in the United States Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which dates to 1831, and Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, which opened in 1838–were the primary manicured and sculpted green spaces within cities. As parks arose, the recreational use of graveyards fell off. But today, some cities have hundreds of acres of public and private cemetery grounds. Some already help mitigate the shortage of urban parkland (see “Selected Urban Cemeteries That Function Like Parks”). Others, with some modifications, could do the same.
Reprinted from the December 2010 issue of Landscape Architecture

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