The redesign of Cedar Cottage Park focused on significantly improving the ‘eyes on the park’ with increased sightlines and open space and redesigning and replacing the aging play structures and sports courts. By integrating rain gardens, Binnie effectively facilitated site drainage for the sports court run-off, which further encouraged infiltration off the hard infrastructure surfaces.
Small park spaces in urban areas are heavily used by both active and passive park users. Our approach was to focus the design interventions into purposeful outcomes to limit the conflict between the various users. This approach is highlighted by using a hierarchy of space allocations and programming for:
Pedestrian movements and circulation (commuter pedestrian movements through the space versus active use of children earning to rides bikes away from busy urban streets).
Active use (playing basketball and pickleball), and passive use (picnicking and yoga).
Further, the dog off-leash park required a nuanced approach to allow for access to the park, while minimizing the potential conflict between dog friendly and non-dog friendly park users.
Because both of these parks are quite old, it was challenging to connect new underground services into existing infrastructure, highlighted by the need to rebuild the storm infrastructure that was built in the 1930s. To mitigate this issue for future projects, we learned that completing additional upfront investigations to adequately scope the new work would have reduced the overall cost to the Owner during construction.
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