- Reporters Desk
WILMINGTON — The Port of Los Angeles’ Wilmington Waterfront Park is one of five projects that has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Urban Land Institute Urban Open Space Award.
The Urban Land Institute Urban Open Space Award is a nationwide competition that recognizes examples of transformative public open space projects that have spurred economic and social regeneration of their communities.
To be eligible for the competition, an open space project must have been opened to the public for at least one to 15 years; be predominately outdoors and inviting to the public; provide abundant and varied seating, sun and shade, trees and plantings with attractions; be used intensively on a daily basis by a broad spectrum of users throughout the year; have a positive economic impact on its surroundings; promote physical, social, and economic health of the larger community; and provide lessons, strategies, and techniques that can be used or adapted in other communities.
The five finalists represent urban areas throughout North America and were selected based on how each impacted or revived their surrounding areas. The other finalists are the Yards Park in Washington, D.C.; Cumberland Park in Nashville, Tenn.; Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, N.Y.; and The Village on False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia. The winning project will be announced at the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago, set for Nov. 5 through 8. A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded to the individual or organization most responsible for the creation of the winning open space project.
Wilmington Waterfront Park is a 30-acre largely contiguous landscaped area, between Harry Bridges Boulevard and C Street to the north, from Figueroa Street to Lagoon Avenue to the east. The El Paseo Promenade provides a pedestrian and bicycle connection from the east to the west end, continuing for approximately nine blocks. Mitigating the industrial impact of the Port, it provides a safe and accessible space that celebrates the vibrant community culture of Wilmington.
After a series of public planning workshops that began in 2004, a plan to take a sustainable, strategic approach to the area was approved in 2007. The Port of Los Angeles moved forward with the community-supported plan that offered never-seen-before views of the Wilmington waterfront. Designed by Sasaki Associates Inc., construction began in 2009 and the Wilmington Waterfront Park officially opened to the public in June 2011.