Green Maze Design for City Parks Helps People Maintain Physical Distancing During Pandemic

“There is a beauty in solitude and in connection to nature that people in the city often miss,” says Chris Precht, founder of Austrian design company Studio Precht.

His firm is behind a new idea for helping metropolitan parks and green spaces stay open during COVID-19 social distancing measures.

The concept for Vienna is called “Park de la Distance” and would guide visitors seeking the relief of green urban space through a 20-minute walk through a maze-like structure of spirals.

Parallel lanes of hedgerows lead each person on a walk through an enclosed natural world, occasionally opening up into broader views of gardens, all while keeping effective social distancing measures in place.

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“There is something fundamental in spirals,” wrote Precht in an email to Fast Company. “A path to the center. A path to your inner self.”

Many cities worldwide are closing public parks for fears of overcrowding, as citizens worried about COVID-19 are all seeking relief. In this park, gates at each end of the maze’s paths could be closed to maintain a certain number of people walking at once. The total duration of the walk is about 20 minutes.

Photos by STUDIO PRECHT

According to Fast Company, Precht lives and works in the remote Austrian Alps, and is bringing a personal touch to the prospect of natural relief during challenging times.

“There is a beauty in solitude and in connection to nature that people in the city often miss,” he wrote.

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“I don’t know when I have ever been alone in the city. But sometimes you have to get away from everything to fully reconnect.”

This park does that with ease and grace.

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