Greenacre Park was designed by Sasaki, Dawson, DeMay Associates with Masao Kinoshita as lead designer. Greenacre Park opened in 1971 as a “vest” pocket park and is privately funded and maintained by Abby Rockefeller Mauze’s Greenacre Foundation. The park is 60-feet wide by 120-feet deep, and conveys an impression of far greater size through a series of well-defined, separate spaces, lush planting, textural variation, and the dramatic use of water...
Ecological goals for an urban garden:
Identify and remediate contaminants.
Reuse suitable exiting site elements to make landscape features such as retaining walls and rubble to shape constructed landscapes or planting beds.
Keep water on site through means of planting, permeable surfaces and proper drainage. This minimizes the use of the already over-taxed municipal sewer system. Use collected site water for irrigation by collecting and storing it in an underground cistern located on the site.
Water features add tremendous value to a garden. They engage all the senses. In an urban environment, the sound of water becomes an important feature to cover the noise of the city and immediately transport the visitor. Standing water can provide a home for mosquitoes and other pest insects, so moving water is preferred. Waterfalls are an effective way to maximize the impact of water in an urban environment. With a recirculating water, you get motion and sound without standing water.
For cooling purposes, misting systems are highly effective. In the humidity of New York summer, the mist appears cloud-like and provides a mysterious effect. In the courtyard a misting system can be incorporated into the face of the building and provide relief for the few unshaded areas during the hottest summer days.
Without design intent and maintenance, an urban garden is a result of uncontrolled, pre-existing, forces. Airborne seeds or those carried by animals, invasive species, pollutants, litter and storm water reshape the life of the urban site. The process occurs in vacant lots throughout the city.
The size of an urban lot cannot achieve the scale and diversity needed for a self-sustaining ecosystem. The garden must be maintained by its occupants to remain in its desired state. “Nature” is reconstructed in an idealized human form. This is the space for design to enter the landscape of the city.