Parks are such an important part of the Ann Arbor landscape that every five years, the city’s master plan for the parks is reviewed and updated. In preparation for an October meeting of the park advisory commission, planner Amy Kuras is holding focus groups, surveying residents, and holding public meetings about the Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) plan before it is voted on by the parks advisory commission and city council and submitted for state approval. The meetings have been lively so far, and certainly illustrate that planning for green space in Ann Arbor is no walk in the park.
The process, however, shows a lot about how issues that concern citizens and the future development of the city are handled in Ann Arbor. Ms. Kuras asks substantive questions and wants thoughtful responses from the public. Clearly, the goal is to have an Ann Arbor that includes planned green space, with amenities that are kid friendly, attractive, and useful to all. After all, many people may move to Ann Arbor to attend or work at the University of Michigan or local companies; they stay because they get hooked on all Ann Arbor has to offer.