The stereotype about avant-garde architects is that they impose their will on a hapless and baffled public. Not so with the recent redesign of a blighted area of New Jersey’s riverfront. The plan was created solely from community input, using focus groups and surveys to determine what exactly they wanted out of a waterside idyll. Only then did landscape architects Starr Whitehouse and nArchitects, get to work. What they produced is a series of green spaces, linked by an “infinity bridge” connecting two major parcels of parkland.
There are gardens, playgrounds with slides and swings, flowing water, and a dog run, family gathering areas and a pavilion for plays. In short, everything that everyone wanted–and not a whiff of Frankenstein at all, as you’d expect with most publicly designed projects. Creating the park is expected to cost between $25 and $30 million. The Jersey City Waterfront Parks Conservancy, founded in 2007, has been raising money from the community as well as private donors in the area.