Ricardo Lara Park is a vibrant city park and a case study in landscape infrastructure. It demonstrates how a small investment and creative thinking about landscape can transform the very infrastructure that has long divided and isolated a community into an amenity that unites it, offering much-needed environmental and recreational benefits.
Here, more than five acres of vacant lots along an I-105 freeway embankment were transformed into a mile-long park that filters stormwater runoff (equivalent to six swimming pools per year), improves air quality, and provides multiple outdoor gathering spaces.
SWA’s design was inspired by a collaboration with the nonprofit From Lot to Spot to conduct community outreach; this lively exchange of ideas contributed to the park’s unique identity, structure, and function.
Cross streets divide the park into five blocks, and each block accommodates a different program: dog park, fitness stations, play structures, community gardening and education, and passive recreation with artwork and storm water detention. Advancing Lynwood’s “Healthy City Initiative,” the park connects with the LARIO Bike Trail and promotes healthy lifestyles in what has been a community long under-served by parks and open space.
Learn more about our work in Landscape Infrastructure
Gubei Gold Street
SWA was selected to conceptualize, design, and realize a rare find in bustling Shanghai—a pedestrian mall (Gold Street). The corridor occupies three city blocks, is flanked by 20-story high-rise residential towers with retail at street level and book-ended by SWA-designed parks. Creating an iconic presence and enlivening the area, the mall features plazas, fou...
Jeffrey Open Space Park
The Jeffrey Open Space Park represents approximately 96 acres of park and trails, with an average width of 265 ft. The three-mile long spine is designed for passive uses with a network of trails that connect to residential neighborhoods and active recreation parks.
The design process included a series of community workshops to solicit community’s commen...
Main Street Garden Park
A key component in the downtown revitalization strategy, Main Street Garden Park required razing two city blocks of buildings and garages to make way for its transformation into a vibrant public space teeming with civic life. This two-acre park fosters downtown residential and commercial growth and was designed to accommodate the needs of residents in adjacent...
Mason Park Bridge
Prior to construction of this Brays Bayou feature, road and rail infrastructure had conspired with the waterway to sever connectivity between parks and surrounding neighborhoods. The Mason Park Pedestrian Bridge, part of a larger effort including trails, seating plazas, lighting, and planting, connects the north and south parts of the City of Houston’s Mason P...