Lots at 6th & Diamond Proposed Master Plan

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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:

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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.

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Re-visioning Vacant Lots at 6th and Diamond

By: Kara Murphy

1_6_2This past Saturday, March 14th, marked the first of three events organized by Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities aimed at facilitating future vision plans of three locations in North Philadelphia. This most recent event was focused on the vacant lots located at the intersection of 6th and Diamond Streets. Acting as a design charrette, which is a consulting and planning session, this event explored the ways in which the lot can be transformed into a community green space, offering different stormwater management infrastructures that could be implemented as well as other recreational elements for the location.

1_4The event was held at the apartment complex off of Temple University’s main campus, “Paseo Verde”, where representatives from the Center of Sustainable Communities and the partnership organization Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, led an interactive and open discussion with community members on the possible implementation plans for the location. After a short introductory lecture on stormwater management and displaying the different ways to adjust the lot to benefit the surrounding community, the event then transitioned into a workshop where attendees were broken into four groups to develop frameworks for the lots reconstruction.

During the workshop, each group was provided a map of the location with icons that represented different elements that could be implemented in the project plan. Some of these icons include elements spoken about in the introductory lecture such as a rain garden, different community garden options, landscaping options and recreational options such as a playground. Each group was accompanied by a student from either the architecture or community and regional planning department to work alongside community member’s and help layout attendee’s visions for the lot and brainstorm how to go about representing their visions on the map provided. One community member and active participant within one of the workshop groups was a young community member who vocalized some of her planning thoughts once all the maps were presented. The particular map she helped construct included a play area where she and other children in the neighborhood could play and enjoy.

2_2The overall consensus of the workshop highlighted how community members hope for this location to not only offer stormwater management infrastructures but elements that would allow this lot to be transformed into a community gathering spot. Acting as a neighborhood pocket park, it was mutual among community attendees that this lot has strong potential to become a green space where neighbors can gather and enjoy. Each of the four project plans presented offered layouts that would allow this space to a community friendly location for residents to use recreationally. Revealing the strong potential this lot has to be a beneficial and unifying addition to the surrounding community, this event was a successful start to events to come discussing other locations in north Philadelphia on stormwater management.

Community design charrette – vacant lots at 6th and Diamond

These photos are from our first community design charrette on 3/14/2015 to integrate green stormwater infrastructure and community recreational facilities on two vacant parcels at 6th and Diamond. The charrette participants came up with some great design ideas to turn two vacant parcels into neighborhood assets. Event location: Paseo Verde, Asociacion Puertornquenos En Marcha. A blog on this event is coming soon!

Photos by Sanjana Ahmed

6th & Diamond Streets Design Charrette: Your Ideas Are Needed!

On March 14, 2015 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm in Paseo Verde’s Community Room (1950 N. 9th Street), APM and Temple University’s Center for Sustainable Communities (CSC) will be partnering to host a design charrette for the vacant lots at 6th & Diamond Streets and the recreational area inside the APM housing complex.

6th & Diamond Streets: Location of vacant lots

The CSC and APM have formed a partnership for this project, sponsored by EPA’s Urban Small Waters Grant program (2014-2016).  The charrette will involve a short presentation by Temple University faculty followed by a small-group interactive design activity for the site, focusing on community outdoor recreational spaces and stormwater management.

The event will conclude with each group presenting their vision for the lots.  Participants will discuss the benefits of green stormwater infrastructure, and play a vital role in transforming vacant lots into recreational and community assets.  A professionally designed conceptual site plan will be developed following the charrette, based on participants’ ideas and visions for the lots.

This is a free public event – both materials for the design activities and lunch will be provided.

RSVPs are required by February 14, 2015.  Please email antonio.romero@apmphila.org with your contact information to be added to the guest list.