Public parks offer more than convenient refuge from the pressures of urban existence; they create a sense of community by bringing people of various backgrounds together in an informal setting. For that reason, parks matter now more than ever, some could argue. As large public works projects finally begin to take shape in and around Cleveland -- from the Medical Mart and Convection Center to the Lakefront and Flats East Bank projects -- its imperative that meaningful public spaces be part of the local conversation. "The quality of open spaces is a measure of the desirability of a city," Greg Peckham of LAND studio notes. "Parks and park systems really matter to people."