Attended by thirty participants, the community design charrette for the lots at 6th and Diamond Streets generated several different visions for the currently underutilized lots. Part of a larger EPA-funded project, the purpose of the event was to garner local input about the reuse of the two lots located at the intersection of 6th and Diamond Streets in eastern North Philadelphia. With participants from the neighborhood, as well as invited guests from citywide organizations, the group designs represented diverse options for the two lots.
The groups each designed unique visions for the lots. For the smaller lot, several groups suggested food-related activities such as community garden plots and a small market. Others proposed the idea of an informal social gathering space with dedicated space for seating. For the larger lot across the street, both active and passive recreational activities were discussed, including a handball court, a more formal BBQ area, a movie screen, play fountains and an historical neighborhood trail. The general concepts developed in each group can be seen below:
Following the event, the Project Team discussed both the designs from each group as well as the results from the voting activity. The team then developed a conceptual master plan based on these results. The overall concept for the Lots at 6th & Diamond Streets is two-fold: a gathering space highlighting both the neighborhood’s storied history as well as its current conditions in the larger lot and a community garden with space for socializing.
Incorporating both active and passive recreational activities, the plan calls for an open lawn to buffer the more active spaces of the lot, including the handball court and the children’s play area. The lawn doubles as a seating area for the stage and movie screen spaces. Weaving throughout the lot, the historical walking path highlights important events in the neighborhood and connects the various elements in the lot. The shade sails provide much-needed cooling to the more formal BBQ and plaza area. Green stormwater infrastructure elements are suggested throughout the plan, including several planting beds, rain gardens and stormwater bumpouts.
Connected by an improved street crossing surface, the plan for the smaller lot across the street calls for a community garden with individual garden plots. In addition to the plots, areas for socializing are also included, as well as a market place.