Syracuse, New York
Professors Cheryl Doble, Anthony Miller and Maren King, Summer 2003
Continuing with the work done by the Advanced Site Design Studio in the spring of 2003, the CCDR worked throughout the summer to develop a master plan design for Lexington Park.
Before design alternatives were developed, community comments about the park gathered by the students were analyzed in combination with community feedback about the design proposals. This information was summarized in and presented to the community during the first in a series of two summer workshops to make sure that designers were clearly hearing community concerns and wishes for the redesign of the park. The first workshop also allowed the CCDR to present some case studies showing alternate ways of thinking about parks and community. Feedback from this workshop gave designers a clearer understanding of what to include in the two design alternatives.
The two design alternatives were developed to both contrast and complement each other to allow the community to more easily identify elements that they liked from each design. Having more than one design allowed designers to include certain elements, such as the water feature, in only one design to gauge the community’s reaction to its exclusion in the other design. This allowed designers to gain a better understanding of what community members felt was necessary to include in the final design. These designs were presented to the community in the second series of workshops, coordinated with ENIP personnel and teens in the Eastside Youth Congress summer program. Community members were able, over a period of three days, to comment on the two designs. Once this feedback was analyzed, a final master plan design was developed. By the end of the summer, the plan was ready to be submitted to the City of Syracuse with the hopes that phase one, the installation of a new playground facility, be started by the end of the year.
Initial Work by Advanced Site Design Studio
Professor Don Ferlow, Dan Reader, Maren King, Spring 2003
The community development organization Eastside Neighbors in Partnership (ENIP) requested assistance from the CCDR for the preparation of a master plan for the redesign of Lexington Park. The park was identified as a priority project by a coalition of east side community partners in 2002. Based on previous planning studies prepared by FLA faculty and students, redevelopment of the park was recognized as an important first step in revitalization and reinvestment in the neighborhood. Located along East Genesee Street, the existing features of the triangular shaped park are in deteriorating condition. In meetings with ENIP personnel, it was determined that community participation was essential in the design process. Community members needed to believe that their participation would lead to tangible change.
The project was assigned to the Advanced Site Design Studio, a class composed of 4th and 5th year undergraduates and second year graduate students. The students were introduced to the project, meeting with ENIP personnel and visiting the site to conduct an inventory of existing conditions. The first set of community meetings was organized to present the inventory findings to neighborhood residents and to discuss residents' thoughts about the park - both positive and negative. Using the information gathered at the workshop and their own site analysis, each student prepared a program and conceptual design study of the park. Once the students had developed a plan for the park, another workshop was organized to present these ideas to the community. Neighborhood residents identified what they believed to be the strengths and weaknesses of the students' designs.
The information gathered by the students and the community responses to the student designs was used by the CCDR to further develop a master plan design during the summer of 2003.