Evolution of the parks as lungs metaphor: is it still relevant? Academic Article uri icon


  • 2016 World Leisure Organization. Conceptualizing urban parks as the lungs of the city is one of the parks fields most enduring metaphors. Indeed, it is often uttered unthinkingly as a clich. Its roots date back over 200 years. The reason it was so widely adopted in the nineteenth century is that it was unusually powerful and resonant in the context of the ubiquitous filth and stench in the industrial cities where it originated. This paper describes the conditions which fostered the metaphor; explains its private and public good dimensions; traces its genesis and diffusion, including its transition from England to the US and concludes with an assessment of its potency in contemporary society.

published proceedings

  • World Leisure Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Crompton, J. L.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Crompton, John L

publication date

  • April 2017