2021 Honor Award
P.S. 152 / 315K Community Playground
Brooklyn, New York
Client: Trust for Public Land in partnership with New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation NYC School Construction Authority NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Environmental Engineer: eDesign Dynamics - Montalto &Rothstein Engineering, DPC
Surveyor: Leonard J. Strandberg and Associates, Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors, P.C.
About the Project:
Located in Brooklyn’s most diverse neighborhoods, Public School 152/315 Community Playground is a vibrant model of sustainable, equitable community-led design. An underutilized asphalt schoolyard was transformed into a dynamic new community park through a unique participatory design process. This collaborative effort partnered landscape architects and environmental educators with students, teachers and community stakeholders in a three-month design process allowing this neighborhood to be active participants in the design of their new park. This new playground manages a million gallons of stormwater annually through learning gardens, outdoor classrooms, permeable pavers and a synthetic turf field that captures and infiltrates stormwater. This participatory design inspires the next generation of environmental stewards as students become the designers, learning about sustainable and resilient design.
Special Factors & Additional Information:
Equitable Neighborhood Asset: The creation of this playground has been the pride of its Brooklyn neighborhood as a thriving example of the power of participatory design. Central Brooklyn is one of the most diverse areas of NYC. This playground provides quality parkland where there are very few within a 10-minute walk. Opened last fall, the playground offers a ray of hope and a place of respite through the restorative powers of nature in a dense urban environment.
Inspiring Future Landscape Architects: Landscape architects worked closely with students and community stakeholders to provide community-led, hands-on design that addresses their needs and desires. By including students in the design process from analysis through schematic design, they became landscape architects for the 3-month process. The experience is sure to have a lasting effect on students, inspiring them to pursue careers in design and environmental stewardship.
Designing for Resiliency: Landscape architects designed efficient green infrastructure including stormwater infiltration under turf fields, continuous tree beds, rain gardens and green roofs atop the gazebo and storage shed. Impervious pavement was reduced by 50%, replacing asphalt with permeable pavers, garden areas and synthetic turf that collect stormwater. This playground capitalizes on green opportunities by planting shade trees, adding gardens and outdoor classrooms, playing a vital role in mitigating climate change, capturing stormwater, and combatting urban heat islands.
Social Equity, Health and Wellness: This site is part of the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, improving community health through green infrastructure. Our design addresses physical, social, and environmental health by combining recreation with education and community gardening, improving mental health and well-being. The completed playground serves as a nature-rich hub for community health and climate resilience, creating an equitable elevation of wellness. As a model for community-based design, it provides a healthier, greener place for users of all ages to play.