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Creating Unity Park

BSA Symposium Concept refresh opt 2 5 01

Graphic By: Horton Iconic Designs

  • COST

    Free for BSA and BosNOMA members, $20 nonmembers

    Click here for 4-pack, 8-pack, and Full Conference registration

  • TYPE

    Conference

  • AUDIENCE

    Civic

This event is part of Intersections: Equity, Environment + the City, a multi-day symposium November 6–13, 2021 brought to you by BosNOMA and Women in Design on intersectional and participatory design processes in Boston. View the full symposium schedule here.

About the Session

As designers, often outsiders, what is our role in the conception and framing of local, community parks and open spaces?

Is there a new model for engagement and development that is more socially equitable than past models? We need ways to spark community compassion, ownership, and commitment for the long term vitality of urban open spaces. This case study provides an example of a direct, ongoing engagement strategy with a local community group to realize a small, community park.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT + DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
The BSA and BSLA engaged the Lena Park Community Development Corporation and their Youth Council in the development of a vacant parcel of land. As young residents of the community, their insights into the program, development and long term sustainability of a park brought the critical components to making an urban community space with the potential to thrive. Funding for this vision was secured through a successful CPA grant award.

CONSTRUCTION OF A COMMUNITY PARK
Working with an engaged design team, the teenagers of the Youth Council continued to frame the development of the park. A call for a local mural artist is being made to work with the Youth Council to design and create a mural along one edge of the park which will reflect the diverse community, a rich and intricate blend of many cultures.

After four years, the core team of the Lena Park Youth Council are still involved in the realization of what they have come to call Unity Park. A space for a neighborhood, to come together as one.

Speakers

Lisa Giersbach ASLA LEED
Co-Founder & Principal, G2 Collaborative

Lisa Giersbach is co-founder and Principal at G2 Collaborative, a small, woman-owned landscape architecture studio. Lisa has been practicing landscape architecture in the Boston area for over 20 years. G2 Collaborative was founded with the goal of working directly with small institutional clients, community groups and organizations, and individuals to create and build vital, resilient, and equitable outdoor spaces. Lisa is passionate about working collaboratively with individuals and groups to realize the potential of landscape to create vibrant social settings and provide empowering community spaces.

Lisa is devoted to teaching and has been an instructor at the Boston Architectural Center as well as in Northeastern University’s Urban Landscape program. With a background in Arts Education, she continues to be dedicated to educating students as well as her clients in the history and importance of landscape architecture as a practice and as a platform for positive social change and environmental equity.

Gigi Saltonstall ASLA LEED
Co-Founder & Principal, G2 Collaborative

Gigi Saltonstall is co-founder and Principal at G2 Collaborative, a small, woman-owned landscape architecture studio. Gigi has been practicing landscape architecture in the Boston area for 20 years. G2 Collaborative was founded with the goal of working directly with small institutional clients, community groups and organizations, and individuals to create and build vital, resilient, and equitable outdoor spaces.

Originally trained as an architect, Gigi practices landscape architecture with the firm belief that the most successful urban social spaces spring from the intricate and constant dialogue between landscapes and buildings. Both context and proximity are critical aspects to creating inviting and valued spaces. Gigi is committed to designing projects that speak to a local vernacular while being enduring and durable places that enrich the communities they serve.

Patricia Seitz AIA
Professor & Chair, Architecture Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design Architecture Department

Patricia is a Professor and Chair of the Architecture Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a former board member of the BSA. In addition to her unrelenting passion for empowering students through teaching, as a licensed architect she works with individuals and organizations to help take their ideas to the next level with creativity, a sense of materiality, and practical eloquence. In public projects, she works in amplifying organizational connections to their local community, convening public engagement activities, and developing design concepts collaboratively.

Additionally, Patricia co-founded and co-chairs the nationally awarded Global Design Initiative for Refugee Children through the Boston Society for Architecture and the Boston Society for Landscape Architecture. These design and building professionals volunteer in conceiving playgrounds and public space in camps globally and locally with at risk communities in the greater Boston area.

Patricia brings a track record of integrity, creativity and dedication to her work with community leaders, students, and individuals to achieve greater success in identifying what matters most and turning that into actionable design.

Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin AIA Affiliate ASLA
Executive Director, Boston Society of Landscape Architects

Gretchen Schneider Rabinkin AIA Affiliate ASLA is executive director of the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) – the Massachusetts and Maine chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. BSLA serves to connect, convene, and celebrate landscape architecture professionals and promote the creation of resilient, equitable, extraordinary environments. An architect and educator, she has long worked at the intersection of individuals, organizations, and community groups to improve the public spaces of everyday experience.

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