Groundwork RVA works with partners to improve Richmond’s green network, or the fabric of street trees, planter boxes, and plant material that beautifies and cools Richmond’s urban core. GWRVA collaborates with local partners on the improvement of Richmond’s historic commercial centers, which are in many cases in a state of disrepair, and characterized by blighted vacant land and exposure to the sun due to a lack of street trees.
North 25th Street Pocket Park
In May of 2014, Church Hill residents and business owners joined in the Better Block community revitalization program, which took place on North 25th street between the intersections of P and R Streets.
During this celebration of design activism, property owners envisioned a more dynamic street life that would foster community spirit. The event created opportunities for neighbors to interact and open businesses along the commercial corridor, utilizing a green space at the corner of N. 25th and and Venable Street as a focal outdoor gathering place.
The effort to activate the space at the corner of North 25th and Venable was among the most successful of many urban interventions applied during this twoday event. During the Better Block festival, this green gateway became a small concert venue, a place to picnic, and a meeting point for youth, adults, and elderly residents to socialize and recreate.
- Site Description
This design competition focuses on the green space located between Venable and P Streets along N. 25th Street in Richmond’s East End. Based on feedback during the East End Transformation Planning Process, the Build a Better Block Process, and conversations with neighborhood youth, the following elements have been mentioned as potential improvements to the site:
- A place to eat
- A place to hear music
- A place to host outdoor events
Armstrong High School Green Team members worked with Storefront for Community Design’s Ryan Rinn, and landscape architect Sarah Shirley to design a pocket park that would serve the community in these ways. The VCU Masters of Urban and Regional Planning Studio provided engagement support and facilitation assistance.After attending civic meetings to solicit input with Union Hill, Unity Civic League, and North Church Hill, the team presented three design concepts at a community wide meeting held at the East District Family Resource Center.The Green Team was honored to be joined by Mayor Dwight Jones and 7th District Councilperson Cynthia Newbille, who listened to the student presentation and also provided feedback on their designs.Armstrong High School Green Team students will spend the fall of 2015 working with the property owner, and interviewing user groups about their use of the site, before installing their final North 25th Street Pocket Park plan in October and November 2015.