Community Meets to Shape Future 11th Street Bridge Park!

Community Meets to Shape Future 11th Street Bridge Park!

On Saturday, December 7, over 100 champions of the 11th Street Bridge Park joined us to help prioritize programming ideas collected in over 160 community meetings to date.

We held two meetings - a morning session at Matthews Memorial Baptist Church (a HUGE thanks to Bishop Hudson for hosting us!) and an afternoon session by the Navy Yard. (a HUGE thanks to David Garber for securing the space!) 

Thank you to the Urban Land Institute Washington, the Urban Land Institute Foundation, the DC Office of Planning, Justice & Sustainability Associates and Autodesk for supporting these events and valuing a community-driven project such as this.

All of the programming ideas collected in our 160+ previous meetings were valued, but the top concepts include the environmental education center, performance space, public art and playspaces. I have sent this list to software engineers from Autodesk who will incorporate this prioritization into their digital 3D model. When we have a new version we can post this on our site and share with you.

In addition to ranking the programming spaces, two themes stood out from both sessions from your feedback:
#1 - The need to integrate each of our programming concepts into one holistic visitor experience through design and use. For instance, an urban agriculture area could grow food for the cafe. Or the kayak / canoe launches could be used by students visiting the environmental education center.
#2 - And as this space will be open for the next 50-75 years, we need to build in programmatic flexibility over time. Who knows what the community will want in 2040!

Each participant was given 3 green dots to "vote" on which programming concept they thought the community needed most. See below for a tally of everyone's voting from both our morning and afternoon sessions.

  • Performance Space - 39 votes
  • Public Art  - 35 votes
  • Environmental Education Center - 31 votes
  • 21 Century Playspace - 30 votes
  • Kayak / Canoe Launches - 25 votes
  • Cafe / Restaurant - 20 votes
  • Urban Agriculture - 16 votes

Additional comments from the group discussions include:

  • Need to ensure we can use the space throughout the year and during the day and evening
  • Include quiet spaces for contemplation
  • The design of each structure / space should be unique
  • Connect the urban agriculture areas to the restaurant and the environmental education center. Serve food grown on the Bridge Park
  • It is critical to have a strong anchor on both sides of the Bridge Park. This civic space should be inviting to walk to from BOTH sides.
  • Public art should be functional / interactive and reflect the community. Perhaps art could be temporary to incorporate lots of art over the years.
  • Use the cafe as a job training location / community kitchen. Potential restaurant name: "The Community Table"
  • Make sure the playspace is multi-generational
  • Use the kayak / canoe launches for a general use dock as well for water taxis, recreation boats, etc.

Additional concepts added

  • Include space for temporary vendors to set up during holiday markets, festivals, etc.
  • Add QR codes to engage visitors with more information
  • Include free WiFi access throughout the 11th Street Bridge Park
  • Food could also be provided by food trucks
  • Could there be a lending library as part of the Bridge Park?
  • Lighting could be powered by solar panels

Thanks to everyone who participated. The results of your hard work will be incorporated into our nation-wide design competition which we will launch in early 2014!