A public space that is a park, for me, must be a portal to escape into a low-pressure, low-stress dimension.  With this blog, I, Tom Davis ofa_Settegast_5_12_05_0014.jpg Houston Texas, want to share unique public spaces in my urban environment. I also want to hear from you particularly about the small spaces that really work; i.e. used for something besides a shortcut to the other side.

As part of the Davis Alliance Corporation, I served as the subject-matter expert for the re-construction management of 26 parks in Houston’s inner city and suburbia. As an employee of the Houston Downtown Management District, I have been directly involved with significant parks including Discovery Green, Market Square Park, and direct responsibility for the Bayou Portals.

I participated in three park visioning workshops lead by the nationally recognized Projects for Public Spaces and participated in many meetings discussing what a park should or could be. We have spent many more hours discussing/debating/working with contractors, architects, engineers, park operations staff and the park’s neighbors about how to make those visions and plans evolve in the real world of budgets, contracts, politics, and politics.

I hope you will try the test I often fail. Go to an outdoor public space, find a bench or tree in a hopefully quiet place, and sit for fifteen minutes without answering the cell phone or email. I am getting better at that test–maybe growing older helps.

Tom Davis
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