WTA Architecture and Design Studio is one of the leading firms in the industry that continues to strive and seek ways on making their structures purposeful and practical, such as a community street park. This time, they are exploring possibilities on how the public will thrive and claim a sense of normalcy again, post-pandemic.
Since the pandemic began two years ago, our way of life has never been the same again. Outdoor activities have become restricted, if not put on hold completely. Open parks and pedestrian spaces are essential so that we can experience a healthier environment again, for both our mind and body.
WTA Architecture and Design Studio is envisioning a street park for every barangay. They firmly believe that pedestrian mobility and much wider paths must be given priority. Streets should undergo pedestrianization. Living a short walk away from work must be encouraged. People need space to live. It’s not about putting up barriers but creating enough space to accommodate residents and spread out the utilization of public space.
A sample of a site is Magiliw Street, Pinyahan, Quezon City. The street is residential, save for a few informal commerce such as sari-sari stores and a barbershop. This makes it an ideal site due to the open space so there will be room for social distancing.
The project itself has to be low-cost, scalable, adaptable and can provide a space to hang out for the people in the community. Apart from that, there are other factors to be considered in assessing a site in building a community street park. The architects must be able to:
Existing urban design conditions must be reevaluated to prioritize pedestrian mobility and social distancing measures.
The streets must respond and adapt to the new requirements and opportunities presented by the pandemic.
We must reimagine the street, tapping into both basic tenets of urban design and new ideas, to create healthy public space conditions.
People should be able to reclaim their right to the city by democratizing access to urban life and resources.
The site must also be a multi-dimensional street with a variety of activities for everyone, ranging from entertainment, trade, library, garden and a playground for children and adults alike. There is also a need for additions like street furniture such as a canopy and sturdy seats and benches; as well as plant boxes to supplement the garden and to place trees and greenery in the park.
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As we adapt to the new normal, people are still essentially social beings. We need open spaces to unwind, relax and do leisure activities as safely and as constructively as we can.
Photos and descriptions by WTA Architecture & Design Studio