What Every Good Public Park Needs

September 25, 2023



Shan Arcega

Constantly sitting between four walls is a good way to maximize focus. Without any worldly distractions, work may be the most interesting thing in the place that can gain your undivided attention. But prolonged time inside these manmade walls actually means disconnecting. At some point, there is a need to connect with something that isn’t grey, dull, or lifeless. Soon enough, there’s the need to see greenery and to inhale fresh air only gained from places like public parks. 

Studies show that time spent outdoors, especially in green spaces, proves to be a great way to improve health and wellness. By exposing yourself to these spaces, you can lower your stress, blood pressure, and heart rate. At the same time, spending time in spaces like public parks can also lower the risk of developing psychiatric disorders. 

In the age where life in the fast lane seems to be already a norm, even just 20 minutes in these spaces is enough to give someone the best benefits. Here in Manila, there are already many parks that can be spaces for relaxation, offering moments of respite from the chaotic outside world through abundant greenery, areas for socialization, and spaces where pieces of history about the space can be learned.

Here are some examples of nice parks here in Manila.

Salcedo Park

Jaime C. Velasquez Park
Salcedo Park is great for those who enjoy their daily morning jogs and always go out for that refreshing Sunday market.

Also known as Jaime C. Velasquez Park, it’s a pocket park at the heart of Makati’s business district within Salcedo Village. From the bi-annual art event, “Art in The Park”, and the annual Salcedo Nights Live, to the weekly Sunday markets, Salcedo Park has recently become a famous area for relaxation where people have space for their morning walks or for their simple bonding times with family and friends. 

Quezon City Memorial Circle

QC Memorial Circle from QC Memorial Circle FB page
The Quezon City Memorial Circle. Photo from the QC Memorial Circle FB page.

Located in Quezon City, the Quezon City Memorial Circle is found in the middle of a large traffic circle in the shape of an ellipse. It is the main park in Quezon City and may be the best park for walking and exercising.

Arroceros Forest Park

Arroceros forest Park photo courtesy of Manila Public Information Office.
The Arroceros Forest Park has a plethora of trees that you can learn about during your stroll. Photo courtesy of Manila Public Information Office.

Known as the historic “Last Lung” of Manila, the Arroceros Forest Park is home to over 3,500 trees. It’s a perfect place for those who want to relax more with the sound of leaves rustling over their heads. 

Greenbelt Park

Greenbelt Park by Kenneth M. Del Rosario
Greenbelt Park is a patch of greenery in this mall with many open spaces. Photo courtesy of Kenneth M. Del Rosario.

Known as one of the most unique parks green spaces in Makati, Greenbelt Park is surrounded by many shops and restaurants, and has a pond in the middle. The relaxed atmosphere is also highlighted with the presence of a church. 

Rizal Park

Rizal Park
Rizal Park is nearby the National Museum complex so gathering more knowledge during your stroll can make the day better. Photo courtesy of Richmond Chi.

The historic urban park known as Luneta Park is considered one of the largest urban parks. With open lawns and ornamental gardens, ponds, paved walks and wooded areas with monuments to many Filipino heroes, it’s a great place to take a relaxing stroll while relearning a bit of Filipino history. Sentries also guard the Rizal Monument where his bones were laid to rest.  

Though there are some things missing from these parks, they are great examples of green public spaces that present themselves as nice public areas. Looking at them as examples, it should be noted that new public parks or even smaller ones inside subdivisions should have some things as mandatories to become model parks like the five mentioned.

There should be more working water stations as free water should be mandatory in every public space, seating and lounges with good shading as parks are places where people could spend a lot of day time in and would need protection from the sun, public restrooms that are preferably clean, pet friendly areas as more people have pets nowadays and should be given more space too, more gazebos as shelter from the rain, and better lighting to make evenings feel safer.

RELATED READ: This community park is a drab parking lot turned interactive public space

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