Parks are definitely the key to building a city that works over the entire life-cycle. But I'd dispute that DC has done a good job of this. Indeed, this is one of the things that my mother, who has just moved here from New York, often complains about-there aren't really any adequate parks in Northwest, at least east of Rock Creek.
According to economists like St. Milton of Freeman, Megan's hero, the city should be responding to market forces. When enough middle-class families want to settle there the parks and schools will be built or improved. But that doesn't stop her from complaining--or rather, repeating her parents' complaints, something she does rather a lot.
Middle class families are, IMHO, the backbone of a thriving city--they're the stabilizing force that keeps civil society together. And those families will not stay in DC, in part because of the schools, but also in part because DC is not constructed to make it easy to have small children here.I wonder why she brings up this nonsense at all, except to talk about herself. Or push her concept of "civil society" based on middle-class mores, a lazy assumption that middle class life is the touchstone of civility and morality. I see a cowed middle class terrified by the prospect of identity theft and loss of credit points, yet supine and bloatedly indifferent to our killing and eradication of civil rights. God over science, fiction over fact, surface over depth. No wonder the middle class is suffocating under the weight of its own lies.