Built Environment Description: Centennial Olympic Park (BED2)

Located near the center of downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is an expansive and flat green area surrounded by the towering skyscrapers of Atlanta. In this regard, the park stands out amongst the usual landscape of the city. Being in the park gave me a sense of peace and isolation while still being in the middle of the city, almost as if the enclosure of buildings were a sort of protection over the area. It’s a strange and satisfying feeling. The park area is also home to some of Atlanta’s most famous cultural tourist attractions such as the Human Rights Museum and the CNN Center.

The park emphasizes diversity and an overall acceptance of all cultures. The reason for its inception was the Olympic Games, an event meant to bring cultures of the world together. The park continues this through providing a space for people of all cultures to come together. The vast green area the park provides is wonderful for people to get away from the stress of daily life and relax with friends and family. I saw dozens of families of all shapes and sizes having fun. The park emphasizes diversity and togetherness. Intercutting these green areas are long walkways, some with names of contributors etched into the bricks. There are many works of art and statues around the park, one of the most iconic being the statue of Pierre de Coubertin walking up to the Olympic rings which stand at the center of a greenway.

At the time I went, there weren’t any major events going on in the park. But concerts and festivals are held there on a regular basis.  However, there is always music playing somewhere in the park. I visited one vendor playing reggae, and another playing pop-rock. Music is a huge part of the environment, and the various genres show how diverse the park is. The Olympic fountain is probably the most entertaining attraction for kids, who jump through the fountain laughing and screaming with joy. The park is a great place for families, friends, and tourists to spend time in Atlanta.

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