Bunche Park Community Collaboratory
The Bunche Park Community Collaboratory is a public space project designed to be implemented by a group of dedicated community members focused upon experimenting with urban design and community collaborations in order to redesign, redevelop and hopefully reinvigorate a somewhat overlooked public space in a historic urban neighborhood in the city of Miami Gardens and re-connect this somewhat disjointed community.
Our project team members will consist of: a cutting-edge South Florida based landscape architectural team, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a group of 10 adolescents attending a mandatory juvenile pre-trial diversion counseling services program, and a group of 10 sr. citizens participating in various local social programs with the Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department-Elderly and Disability Services Division.
Over a period of 6 months during the fall of 2015 and spring of 2016, this eclectic inter-generational team will join forces with one another 1 afternoon a week to work on this project.
The entire collaborative process of redeveloping a public space will be creatively captured on film and on various social media platforms, resulting in the production of a short documentary film, a virtual magazine, and the curation of a community-based photo exhibition – all designed to innovatively document how a somewhat disjointed and disconnected community can become more connected, more socially conscious, and more civically engaged through unconventional community collaborations and cultural arts.
- Conduct community meetings during Sept.2015 to inform the public about the upcoming project and recruit residents to work with our artists & designers. Secure necessary govt. permits to redevelop this public space.
- In October 2015, start holding weekly design meetings to determine the specific needs the community has for this space and finalize designs to implement.
- Establish a work plan and begin clearing the space.
- In November 2015, begin work with engineers to design the seating to be installed.
- In December 2015 – Jan 2016, install the public seating and begin clearing the ground to create the walking trail.
- In February 2016, finish the walking trail and plant greenery around the borders of the trail.
- In March 2016, have an opening ceremony to introduce this redeveloped space to the community
- debut short film/ host photo exhibition inside the lobby of the community center.
why we’re doing it
Residents of Miami Gardens have repeatedly spoken out at community meetings over the past several years about wanting to see this area of their city become more “developed” and a more ‘livable’ area. A big part of making this occur would be to redevelop this parking lot at the community center into an actual destination for people to travel to and enjoy, not just be a place to park their car or wait for a bus.
Unfortunately, community residents have been apprehensive about working with designers to develop the space b/c, all too often, redeveloping communities to make them more “livable” means displacing current, often long-term, residents, thereby creating a sense of resentment and antagonism amongst these residents towards the artists and designers that came in to “revitalize” the neighborhood.
Our vision for the Bunche Park Community Collaboratory is for our team of urban designers to collaborate directly with community residents in all stages of the public space redesign project (from conception to completion) to ensure what we do is actually relevant to the needs and desires of the people who live in that community.