In collaboration with the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and members of the East Harlem community, SCAPE designed a renovation for the 103rd Street Community Garden—an empty lot-turned-multidisciplinary garden and community space. Local residents were engaged to provide input on preferences for the garden in a design-build process beginning with a public charrette and culminating with a ‘park-raising’ day and celebration. Community feedback guided the design process, landing on a shared preference for programming split into four courts, which preserved and relocated existing trees and plants. The project was built almost entirely by volunteers on an extremely limited budget. Over a matter of months, participants came together to transform the lot into a public commons with vegetable plots, refurbished basketball courts, an open picnic area, a playground and two shade structures equipped with rain barrels that feed into an irrigation system. Since the community garden opened in 2011, it has served as a vital community asset with diverse programming for people of all ages and backgrounds.
- New York Restoration Project
East Harlem Community Members