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Accessible and sustainable parks for underserved communities

NYC Community Parks Initiative

The City of New York
New York City, NY

Launched in 2014 by New York City Mayor de Blasio, the Community Parks Initiative (CPI) invests resources into historically underserved parks in high-need neighborhoods across the city. Through this initiative, over 60 New York City parks will be redesigned to promote sports, fitness, and the arts within the five boroughs.

Since the project’s inception, DLANDstudio has worked on seven CPI projects, transforming neglected asphalt rectangles into vibrant, active, and playful community spaces. For each project, DLANDstudio hosts multiple community charrettes to gather input and identify the key program elements that become central to the design vision.

The final designs reimagine each park, taking into consideration community needs and aspirations as well as ADA accessibility requirements and innovative green infrastructure strategies to create vibrant and sustainable community resources. The parks include new play equipment, spray showers, adult fitness options, and sports courts. The integrations of turf fields and multi-use spaces allow for flexible programming such as fitness classes, informal performances, tai chi, and community gatherings. New trees and lush plantings provide shade and welcoming sitting areas for visitors of all ages.

Recently Completed CPI Projects

McDonald Playground
Staten Island, NY

Part of the NYC Mayor’s Community Parks Initiative, the redesign of McDonald Playground transforms a beloved but neglected community playground into an inviting and vibrant recreational oasis.

DLANDstudio and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation worked together to engage the community in a design research process including public charrettes. Community feedback guided the design process and helped develop a new vision of active and passive recreational opportunities for the park.

“This is probably the most dramatic transformation I've seen of all the CPI parks… This park hadn't seen investment in 25 years.”

– Mitchell Silver, NYC Parks Commissioner

The new design replaces outdated play equipment, expands existing basketball court spaces, and introduces new programmed spaces including a spray shower area, adult and young adult fitness equipment areas, and a multi-use turf lawn to accommodate informal performances, fitness classes, and community gatherings. Geometric pavers and lush plantings provide natural divisions between program areas and create inviting spaces of reflection.

Arrochar Playground
Staten Island, NY

Lt. Joseph Petrosino Playground
Brooklyn, NY

DLANDstudio is currently working on the reconstruction of four additional community parks and playgrounds in Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens:

Stapleton Playground
Staten Island, NY

St. Gregory’s Playground
New York, NY

Greencroft Playground
Staten Island, NY

Glen Oaks Tenney Park
Queens, NY

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