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C.A. Pippy Park - A policy landscape

Researcher:  Dr J. Shawyer

One of the several cultural landscape studies which has been undertaken in this Department is C.A. Pippy Park. In 1966 a huge area of 1,200 acres which straddled the city boundary was declared to be a park by Premier Joey Smallwood. It was conceived as a landbank - a magnificent parklike setting for a collection of three recently constructed institutions: the new Legislative building, Memorial University, and the Trades College. It was also intended to be a recreational space for the growing city of St John's. However, this park area was already occupied by 250 households, and much of its land claimed by more than 400 property owners. There were many research questions: What happened to the residents of the park? Did the government purchase the land? And, how did the public view the construction of roads and buildings within a recreational space? How did the policy for the park evolve to accommodate the pre-park landscape and to achieve its goals over its half century of existence?

Many students in the Department of Geography have learned about cultural landscapes through field trips to Pippy Park, and by being employed as research assistants on the project. The research has been presented to community groups and stakeholders.

Publication:

Shawyer, A.J. (2005) "The C.A.Pippy Park: A Park for a Capital City". In A.G. Macpherson (ed.) Four Centuries and the City. Perspectives on the Historical Geography of St John's, Department of Geography, Memorial University, 123-155.

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