Roberto Clemente State Park (RCSP) is a 25 acre public park that lives in an underserved neighborhood and became vulnerable when Hurricane Sandy floodwaters caused significant damage. This cataclysmic event allowed the park to evolve into an exciting public open space. Two landscape architecture firms (LA1 and LA2) were retained by the client to revitalize the park.
This linear park behaves as a community amenity for the adjacent neighborhood which ranks among the lowest in open space area per capita within NYC. Throughout the years, the community lost its connection to the water. The influx of funding after Hurricane Sandy acted as an agent of change for incisive, large-scale reconstruction and resilience efforts. LA1 and LA2 collaborated on several projects which made RCSP more resistant to flooding, expanded programming, created educational opportunities, and reconnected the community to the river.
Throughout the design and construction process, the vibrant Morris Heights community remained in the forefront. Resilience strategies, materials, implementation, and programming were choreographed and approached through the lens of the users. Together, the landscape architects successfully created social equity with a cohesive, dynamic space tailored to a notoriously underfunded community.