WE Design is pleased to have been chosen by the NYC Community Garden Coalition (NYCCGC) to develop a feasibility study for the design and construction of green infrastructure in 47 community gardens located throughout the Lower East Side. This project, “Gardens Rising,” combines community participation with urban planning, landscape architecture, and engineering to increase the permeability and stormwater capture in these gardens, the majority of which are located within an area that was severely impacted by Superstorm Sandy, as well as adding native plants to support habitat and beautify the neighborhood.
We’ve had a blast getting to know the gardeners and their gardens at each of the 47 sites, and are now evaluating the potential for green infrastructure through research of existing and relevant documentation, onsite fieldwork, and extensive community engagement. Based on information gathered from this first stage, we will develop an outcomes-based approach toolkit that matches specific existing garden conditions with various green infrastructure strategies. Working closely with the client and community, we will then develop criteria for evaluating priority sites on which to test the toolkit, creating concept designs for the most at risk gardens.
This extensive project has the potential to demonstrate, through specific hydrological metrics, the critical role community gardens can play in any city’s climate change resiliency plan.