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
Located between a mountain and river in rapidly growing Changsha, Lianjiang Park commands a critical juncture between city, nature, and a changing way of life. While the Lianjiang region had always been intimately linked to the water, recent urban development has resulted in a significant loss of wetlands, habitats, and the culture they give rise to.
Originally completed in 1972, this vestige of IM Pei’s urban renewal plan was built when the street was seen as a menace and parks turned inward. Rolling berms surrounded the edges and the sunken middle areas were filled with concrete retaining walls. After years of decline, Thomas Balsley Associates’ designed a plan to reunite the community with its park. The...
Riverside Park South
Located on the West Side of Manhattan on the scenic Hudson River shoreline, Riverside Park South is a massive, multiphase project of sweeping ambition and historic scope. Combining new green space, new infrastructure, and the renovation of landmark industrial buildings, the plan – originally devised by Thomas Balsley Associates in 1991 – is an extension of Fre...
Shanghai EXPO UBPA (Urban Best Practice Area)
Shanghai EXPO’s Urban Best Practice Area surrounds the Plein Air Museum Park, which chronicles the unique and rich history of the site through objects of art, artifacts, and architecture. The landscape component of the museum park is expressed physically in the form of a Central Park: a gathering space and activity center for the community. The landscape was a...