Master Plan to ensure the protection of waterfront parkland and dramatic Manhattan views for the pleasure of the community via passive lawns, kidâ€™s play elements, interaction with water and nature combined with natural erosion protection and promotion of aquatic life.
Last week, the Jersey City Waterfront Parks Conservancy held a public viewing of the “Connect the Parks” Conceptual Master Plan. The Plan was based solely on community input collected during earlier surveys and community meetings. Based on that input, the landscape architects Starr Whitehouse, in collaboration with nArchitects, developed a Conceptual Master Plan to reveal the potential for the parcels of parkland surrounding the Little Morris Canal Basin at the foots of Hudson and Washington Street, to ultimately â€œConnect the Parks.â€
Currently, the separate parcels of parkland are in a state of disrepair, eroding at a rapid pace or, in some cases, not available to the public. The Conceptual Master Plan calls for linking the Northeastern shore of the basin with the end of the basin peninsula with an â€œInfinity Bridge.â€ This connection of the two major parcels of parkland will result in a continuous walkway from Exchange Place to the Liberty Harbor Marina area.
The plan also includes gardens, a slide mound, swings, water features and a dog run. To promote nature and our childrenâ€™s interaction with the natural world, a floating aquatic vegetative island promoting aquatic life, a wet meadow and several points of access to the waters edge are also featured in the plan. In place of the corrugated steel bulkheading used to the north and south of the park, this Conceptual Master Plan incorporates a cost effective, visually appealing and less obtrusive means of erosion control, via a natural protection system. Finally, two pavilions will provide family gathering areas, seating, a comfort station and a venue for events such as concerts or puppet shows.
This Master Plan was made possible first and foremost by community donations and supplemented by corporate sponsorship from LibertyHealth, ERA Avalon Realty, and Light Horse Tavern. Many other companies and individuals provided in-kind donations. The Conservancy thanks all individuals and companies for their generous support.
Matt Johnson, Board President, said, “Despite their current eroding state, these parcels of land are beloved by the community as a place for informal fun and fostering neighborly camaraderie. I can only imagine how much my family will love coming here after this transformation. In addition, this is a great plan for Jersey City as it provides a destination which will increase property values, provide traffic for local businesses and ultimately increase tax revenues. And even better than that, itâ€™s good for the environment.â€
About the Conservancy
In 2007, a group of concerned Jersey City residents got together with open space in mind. We formed the Jersey City Waterfront Parks Conservancy. Our mission is to restore, enhance, protect, and preserve open spaces on Jersey City’s waterfront to improve the quality of life for current and future generations. Our goal is to connect the disparate parcels of waterfront park land to create one large contiguous park for the community. From this the “Connect the Parks” initiative was born. The focus of the initiative is to generate a park design based on community input and take the necessary steps to ultimately develop the park. The conservancy will have no direct involvement in the design itself. The design and elements in the park will be solely based on the interests and desires of the community.
About the Architects
Starr Whitehouse is committed to making places and communities more livable, green, and vibrant.
We bring energy and creativity to the challenge of finding what is genuine and sustainable, a challenge that starts with recognizing the strata of natural systems, physical organization, social systems, regulations, history, and culture that come together in a location. From this base, recommendations and designs emerge through consensus-building and inspiration.
Starr Whitehouse values collaboration with clients, the public, allied disciplines, and specialists. As leaders and members of teams, we believe that communication and collaboration yield the richest results and the most effective partnerships.
With comprehensive experience in parks, green spaces, urban design, and environmental planning in New York City and beyond, Starr Whitehouse spans a continuum of planning, strategy, and design through to implementation and management to meet the specific needs of our clients and create value.
nARCHITECTS, PLLC (USA/CANADA) was founded in New York City by partners Eric Bunge and Mimi Hoang in 1999. We design and oversee the construction of buildings, installations, exhibitions, interiors, and public spaces. Our work focuses on responsive and flexible design concepts and innovative building techniques that redefine conventional notions of program, type and context. nARCHITECTS’ goal is to achieve maximum effect with an economy of conceptual and material means, and a positive impact on the environment.
nARCHITECTSâ€™ work has been recognized nationally and internationally in publications and exhibitions. Recent awards include The Architectural League of New Yorkâ€™s Emerging Voices (2006), AIA Design Honor Awards (2005 and 2007), a NYSCA grant (2007), the Canadian Professional Rome Prize (2005), Architectural Record’s Design Vanguard (2004), the MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program (2004), and New York Foundation for the Arts grants
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