The population grows, in and out of cities. Some of us choose more density. Especially if we can avoid getting in the car one day a week. The more dense we are, the more we need open space, the more we need that space to engage us. How to design the outdoors?

How to walk? How to make a place someplace you’d like to walk in and shop in, and dine out in, visit for more than a day, maybe or definitely live in?

As HENGE grew since 2009, we watched the private public partnerships of the Bloomberg administration here in New York shift into high gear.

We hope our table can play a tiny role in the worldwide movement towards the walkable city. German playground designers influenced us. We tip out hats to the landscape architect, to the city planner, to the facility manager. They ask, how to engage, how to program? We ask the same question. How to make the folks come outside.

We like quiet and we like buzz. Sometimes we don’t know what we want. Until we overhear someone talk about it. Or watch them do it.

Google and Facebook promise to answer all of our questions. Outdoor space—the backyard, the courtyard, the campus, the farmer’s market, Main Street, the mall—have new competition: online.

Many people don’t mind to live in a bit more density, as long as they can walk, bike, and get to a park (and find parking).

In the cities, we live and work in the so-called built environment. We sometimes miss nature. Our bridges and airports and subways and buses face challenges. Yet we see new ideas— new park design and landscape architecture. The waterside parks are amazing in New York City. Please take the ferry to Governor's Island. 

The farmer's market of today resembles the prehistoric henge.