The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

The Stray

Harrogate

England

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
July 22, 2015
January 3, 2018

Green belt curving around the town center, with over 200 acres of lawns used either for sports, picnics, special events or relaxation.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

While the city of Harrogate’s most treasured features, its two springs, remain popular among locals and visitors, the Stray that connects them and circles the city center has also become a popular destination in its own right. The park’s green-belt design makes it accessible from all parts of the urban core, and the large open grasses are frequently used for picnics, kite-flying, and all kinds of outdoor sports and recreation. Although the original Stray Act included a ban on cycling through the park’s many trails, after year of lobbying by Harrogate’s community and environmental organizations, an amendment to the Act lifted the ban in 2011 and the trails were opened to the cyclists for the first time. Since then, the city has undergone an effort to widen and re-route trails to better serve the needs of cyclists and continue to accommodate the thousands of pedestrians that visit the park every year. As the largest public space in the city of Harrogate, the Stray is also venue for a variety of public programming. The Stray’s programming varies from year to year, as one of its governing bylaws dictates that a number of open events be held in the park space to benefit local charities and public services. Popular programs include sporting events, fairs, circuses and an annual bonfire.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

Located in Harrogate’s urban center (also referred to as the “Old Town of Harrogate”), The Stray is a greenbelt park that was created as a result of a bill in the 1700s, which consolidated Low Harrogate and High Harrogate--including their two mineral springs--into a single township. The town’s greatest assets, these mineral springs were believed to possess the cure to a number of ailments and they were frequented by locals and visitors looking to be “healed.” The bill declared The Stray and the two mineral springs as public land. Local bylaws have maintained this space as public and stipulated its preservation. As governance in Harrogate changed, the Stray and the two mineral springs were, again, deemed public land by an act of Parliament, The Stray Act of 1985. Though most have lost the belief in the medicinal uses of the two springs, they remain Harrogate’s most popular tourist attractions and entirely public.

Related Links & Sources

Image credits, from left: Tom Blackwell via Flickr, lutmans via Flickr, YorkshirePhotoWalks via Flickr

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*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design