March 15, 2018 — Community Event 3
The South Side Park Master Plan has come a long way. After two intensive community engagement events, held in January and February, the design team translated community input into a draft master plan for the park, which was presented at Community Event 3. The draft plan combined the most popular elements from each of the previous three design schemes (Environmental Education, Arts + History + Culture, and Recreation + Adventure) in one cohesive draft master plan.
As the design team hones in on the final decisions for the master plan, participants were encouraged to offer feedback on more specific design considerations. The flow of the event moved participants through a series of stations, laid out to show the design team’s process and current design direction. Community members filled out surveys and flip charts at each of the stations. Members of the consultant team and South Side Advisory Committee were available to walk folks through the stations, answer any questions, and help record positive and negative reactions to various elements of the design. The event drew residents of Arlington, South Side Slopes, South Side Flats, Allentown, Carrick, Mt. Oliver, Whitehall and Manchester.
February 15th, 2018 — Community Event 2
The South Side Park Master Plan is moving right along. The Design team has begun to translate community input into physical recommendations for South Side Park. The second community event, held at the Arlington Rec Center, provided a chance to consider three different plans for the park, which were based on the most consistent concerns and requests heard from the community. Designs were developed around three themes: environmental education, arts + history + culture, and recreation + adventure.
Participants were not asked to choose between the three but rather to identify the elements from each that they would like to see move toward one cohesive plan. Participants were also encouraged to report their overall feeling toward the design directions. Members of the consultant team and South Side Advisory Committee were available to walk folks through the schemes, answer any questions, and help record positive and negative reactions to various elements of the designs. Residents of Arlington, South Side Slopes, South Side Flats, and Allentown dropped in to voice their opinions.
Aside from the design stations, participants enjoyed a lovely spread of The Other Diner sandwiches and cheeses generously sponsored by the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, not to mention a stellar South Side Park (temporary) tattoo application station. A big “Thank You!” to everyone who helped make the second Community Event so successful!
January 18th, 2018 — Community Event
The South Side Park Master Plan is off to an awesome start. The first Community Event was held on January 18, 2018 at the Arlington Recreation Center at 2201 Salisbury Street. An array of South Side Park users attended the event including members of Friends of South Side Park, the Hilltop Alliance, the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, and residents from Arlington, the Slopes, the Flats, Carrick, and Knoxville. The consultant team (Studio Bryan Hanes, Brean Associates, and Sci-Tek Consultants) was well supported by a knowledgeable team of volunteers.
The consultant team put together an engaging and interactive input session for community members and volunteers. Participants were guided through nine stations around the periphery of the gym, where they were first oriented to the park through a series of assessment maps, and then asked to give input in a few different ways. Park users mapped their circulation routes to the park, responded to prompts on large flip charts, wrote down their thoughts, reacted to large banners of images with markers, and took photos with personalized messages. The “Kid’s Korner” offered a space play space for kids to play and provide their own input, enabling parents to participate at other stations.
Studio Bryan Hanes is now in the process of compiling community input, which will begin to inform the design direction for the three park plan design concepts. Don't forget to mark your calendars for February 15, where the design alternatives will be presented.
What’s Next? How can I be involved?
If you weren’t able to come to the event last week but want to have your voice heard, we have you covered! You can see the three schemes presented and provide your thoughts on each one through an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/R2CRZJD
Please respond by next Friday, March 2, 2019, so that the Design team can incorporate your thoughts into the next draft of the South Side Park Master Plan.
The Design team is now in the process of synthesizing stakeholder interviews, conversations, community event feedback, and site observations. Don't forget to mark your calendars for March 15, where a plan that incorporates popular elements of each of the three schemes will be presented and discussed with the community. This is the last community event before the presentation of the final master plan in April, so it’s a great chance to participate in planning for South Side Park.
Felipe Palomo – Planner 2
Friends of South Side Park:
Established in December 2015, with the support of the Birmingham Foundation, Friends of South Side Park is a volunteer-based advocacy group representing the diverse set of user groups in South Side Park, including South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Hilltop Alliance, 4th River Music Collective, Bandi Schaum Community Garden, GTECH Bandi Schaum Trailhead Project, South Side Athletic Association, Student Conservation Association, Landforce, South Side Bears, Pittsburgh Sports League, Monster Sports, CitiParks, Arlington Recreation Center, Brashear Association, and residents of South Side Slopes, South Side Flats, and Arlington neighborhoods. The intention of the Friends of South Side Park formation is to build a working group that represents community needs through the diverse set of user groups of South Side Park and the adjacent neighborhoods, and for advocacy and planning around South Side Park. Learn more by visiting the Friends of South Side Park Facebook page.