Posts Tagged ‘communal spaces’

Nature Ramble

Here’s an issue I have never considered.

We love the outdoors, and some of us try to make the most of it by visiting parks and green areas.

But there are those who do it, and those who complain about people doing it.

Personally, I do it whenever I have the cash to do it, right at my gate.

I couldn’t believe that this was an issue.

Is it anti-social to use barbecues in parks?

Cities around the world are debating whether to permit barbecues in municipal open spaces. What are the dos and don’ts of grilling food in public?

You might recognise the scene on a large patch of public grassland. The odour of inexpertly-charred meat. The babble of drunk people congregating. The spectacle of adults in shorts, arms folded, cheeks flushed with indignation, shouting at each other.

Barbecues are a precarious enough social occasion when they occur in the privacy of a back garden, with smoke and chatter billowing across fences, potentially inciting the ire of neighbours.

In communal spaces like parks – where one ratepayer’s carefree al fresco culinary get-together is another’s smoke-belching, grass-scorching, noisy, litter-strewn, anti-social nuisance – the capacity for confrontation and awkwardness is even greater.

Around the world this summer, civic leaders are grappling with a shared dilemma. In the New York borough of Brooklyn, there are calls to ban grilling in Prospect Park in an effort to rid it of “toxic fumes”.

In Camden, north London, by contrast, a long-standing and controversial barbecue ban is about to be overturned – following in the wake of neighbouring Islington, which lifted a similar prohibition in 2011.

Highbury Fields, north London: A park where barbecues are allowed

The issue can be deeply emotive. Leaders at Bristol City Council were accused of staging “an assault on civil liberties” when they proposed restricting a range of activities including lighting barbecues in parks.

In Rockdale, a suburb of Sydney – where cooking outdoors is widely seen as an expression of national pride – the failure of an effort to overturn a similar ban led to a mass walkout from the council chambers.

By contrast, some naysayers are implacably opposed to the practice of barbecuing in parks under any circumstances.

“Cooking in public places should be illegal,” insists Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace, a noted barbecue-phobe. “It’s going to smell. It’s going to cause a mess. If you want to cook you should do it in the kitchen.

“This is Britain. We have picnics. If you want to have a barbecue, put on a pair of Bermuda shorts and get on a plane for 20 hours to Australia or New Zealand.”

Source: BBCNews Read more

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