Witness to Urban Space

Public space seems to be a commodity that only those in a suburban area can afford to have. The metropolitan area of Las Vegas doesn't have any public space. The casinos may seem like public space, and are built for tourists, and the public, but they are private institutions just trying to make money. As such, in order to better understand what public space I needed to go to a public space and view this space. I went to Mission Hills Park and looked at how people interacted in this space. I went on Labor Day to observe where people went in the park and what type of people used it. Now I went to observe who was using the park, as well as where they were using the park. Now this was also to find out if there were spaces that were used, necessary, or wasteful. One of the questions I asked myself for those spaces that were wasteful were whether they were wasteful at this point, or in general.

Since Mission Hills Park contains a water park within it, and considering that it is currently summer in Las Vegas, a majority of the people were concentrated around the water park. It seemed that a majority of the people at the park were children and parents who were supervising their children. Also the parents, who were close to the water park portion, didn't seem to go into the water with their children. The most I saw of what appeared to be an adult would only wet a towel and place it on their head or neck. These parents also seemed to stay in shade as much as possible. As you can see in one of the images, even the animals would try and stay in the shade. Everyone at the park stayed near the water park, besides the two people who were walking their dogs around the park. There were large open grass areas that were otherwise baron. There was also a large portion of the parking lot that was empty. The parking spaces near the water park though were almost full, so the patrons of the park wanted to be close to the water, and nowhere else.

The open grass, in today's observations, seemed to be a waste of space, as well as resources considering that it take a large amount of water to keep that grass alive. As such i would say that a majority of this park is wasted space. But I know that there are certain times when this green space is valued, and one such time was four years ago. There was a large snowstorm that hit the Las Vegas Valley, where at this particular park several inches of snow fell and remained on the ground. As such the large grass hill near the road was used for sledding and other such things. It was at this time that the otherwise wasteful space became somewhat magical for those that lived nearby. But my question is if this grass that would seem wasteful during the summer is worth the waste of water and space for such magical moments. Would there be such a need to have large amounts of space for certain moments be worth the use of that space that could be used for other things? I'm not sure that it is, especially if that space isn't used very often.