I'm not saying it's all bad, but it could be much better.
Yeah this. I never liked the "one huge park for everyone in the city" approach. I think the Chicago-style "many parks" approach is superior. In my neighborhood I have four parks within walking distance, seven or eight if you include school playlots.
>So they don't feel incentives to care for that space, and they don't.
Trash gets picked up quickly in the parks. I do feel a sense of ownership with the closest parks and get pissed when I see trash and promptly pick it up. I think smaller localized spaces do a good job of fighting the 'tragedy of the commons' we see with larger spaces. When something belongs to 'everyone' it really belongs to no one. Sorry but that's just human nature and one of the many reasons communism failed.
Not to mention, a lot of those Soviet towns are little more than endless ugly apartment blocks. The idea of a home with a unique design or a single family home with its own yard didn't fit in with the engineer led design of 'everyone lives in efficient boxes.' I find towns like that to be depressing and ugly. I'd rather trade some efficiency for beauty and livability. Top-down approaches get praised by geeks, but ultimately are simply worse than bottom-up approaches many American cities developed from. I'd much rather live in chaotic NYC, LA, or Chicago than 'ultraplanned' cities in Russia or China. Considering how many people we have dying to immigrate here, I suspect wanting those types of lifestyles reflects something in human nature.