Climbing structure. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

Nuestro Lugar. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

View from the mounds and wayfinding detail. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

Opening celebration on the central lawn. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

View of the park during opening celebrations

Playground with a view of the Salton Sea. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

Playing soccer on the central lawn. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

The skatepark

Climbing structure. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

Nuestro Lugar. Photo: Studio Los Feliz

Nuestro Lugar

Replicating the Productive Public Space model that has been so successful in Kibera, Nuestro Lugar was designed through an in-depth participatory process to meet the needs of local residents while celebrating the stories that make their community unique. It was completed in October 2018.

Context

Original conditions at the site

North Shore is a small agricultural community with deep ties to the Salton Sea.

Many residents live in trailer parks, often without adequate access to water or sewerage. Sidewalks, public transportation, and open spaces are virtually nonexistent. Nonetheless, the community is close-knit, active, and deeply proud of its heritage and surrounding landscape.

Process

Community workshop to plan the park's amenities

Together, KDI and residents designed a public space that could meet their social, economic and physical needs.

The theme they chose for the park - From Sea to Sky - was incorporated into the design. KDI also helped establish resident-led programs and arts programming to activate the space and engage the wider community.

Solution

Site plan render

The park features a pavilion, playground, skate spot, soccer field, basketball court, and more.

Zigzagging paths and locally-inspired planting stimulate exploration, while glyphs representing the park’s theme are incorporated in the pavilion and wayfinding. Women-led food cooperative Delicias Laguna Azul and youth-led bike share Desert Riderz are both based there.

Impact

Folkloric dance performance at the community pavilion

The new park marks the beginning of a new era for North Shore.

Not only does it provide residents with critical amenities for health and wellness, but it is also the first sign to community members that their voices count and that they can make the changes they want to see happen.