Designing a new park for the River North (RiNo) Art District

Big change comes from many collisions of people and ideas.

Denverites are a people who love to love their city – our endless sunny days, close-by mountains, our burgeoning cultural scene. And while many enjoy the many public spaces our city offers, few decide to participate in the design and creation of these spaces. So, TEDxMileHigh teamed up with Wenk Associates, Denver Parks and Recreation and the Trust for Public Land at Great Divide Brewery to explore how a park is created – from the initial purchase of the land by the City to the selection of the design team, from visioning and community outreach to developing alternatives and designing the park. An incredible team led our Adventurers: Nicole Horst and Greg Dorolek, Principals at Wenk Associates; Gordon Robertson, Denver Park Planning Director; and Wade Shelton of the Trust for Public Land. At the outset of our Adventure, Denver Park Planning Director, Gordon Robertson shared his theory of change: “Progress comes from many, many small collisions – collisions of people and ideas at the right place, at the right moment.” TED_WenkBlog-01 TED_WenkBlog-02 TED_WenkBlog-03

A vision is forming for RiNo’s coming public space.

Wenk Associates has led the master planning and designing River North Park. The project has potential to break new ground in the design of urban parks. The latent potential of the River as an urban/natural resource, and the enthusiasm and creative energies of the River North neighborhood present exciting possibilities for designing a park that is truly of the 21st-century. Demographics, issues, and resources are different for every public project and the process for engagement must be tailored specifically to meet the needs of the neighborhood. Our Adventures learned how the Wenk Associates team and the City developed a community engagement strategy that allows the neighborhood’s needs and vision to shape the plan, drawing out opportunities from the unique residents, business owners, and stakeholders that make up RiNo. Then the real adventure started – armed with only markers and their biggest ideas, our Adventures marked up the existing plans and shared their own big ideas and concepts for the park. “In many of our projects, we’re often called upon to bring together groups with fundamentally different points of view or perspectives. We have learned that you cannot build consensus by trying to alter people’s values but instead by translating those values into concrete actions that can form the basis for agreement or compromise. Through the public process, we identify core values of the neighborhood; creatively incorporate them into essential elements of the design concepts that ultimately lead to a preferred park design that is celebrated by the neighborhood.” – Wenk Associates TED_WenkBlog-04 TED_WenkBlog-05 TED_WenkBlog-06 TED_WenkBlog-07

Make yourself available to collisions!

Get involved! Jump in for the next community design public meeting! Thursday, December 3, 2015  /  5:30-7:30pm Industry – 3001 Brighton Blvd., Denver   To keep up with the River North Park project: #rinopark   Follow Along on other public projects Wenk Associates is cooking up on their Facebook page! Keep up with the Trust for Public Land at their website.