David Williams: Parks are the jewels in our crown


OPINION: Think about the great cities of the world.

The history of Athens, the seething humanity of Tokyo, the architecture of Barcelona.

Then think again.

One of the great things about cities is green spaces.

What would New York City be without Central Park? Or London without Hyde Park? Auckland without The Domain?

Queenstown itself has green spaces essential to this place, to ensure it’s not just filled with angled, big-windowed buildings and tourist rides.

Parks and gardens let this place breathe and open up our views – so hemmed in by mountains.

Given Queenstown council’s proactive drive for greater urbanisation – in places like Ladies Mile, for example – we need to remember our open spaces and why they’re so valuable.

In his column last week, former mayor Warren Cooper reckoned we should pave over Warren Park for parking.

Before we do that, I reckon we should take stock of our recreational spaces and ask whether we have enough.

Last weekend’s Luma light festival was a marvel, but it’s only possible because we, the public, “own” Queenstown Gardens.

Some things are too precious to take away and need to be protected at all costs.