Urban Park Design

Albion Park

Somerville is New England’s most densely populated city with 78,000 people living in just over four square miles. Albion Street sits in the heart of Somerville between Union and Teele Squares and consists of a mix of three-story residential homes with some industrial / office mixed-use. The existing park was a flat rectangle, 85% of which was covered with pavement. The remaining 15% was separated by rusted chain link fence per programmatic use, contributing to the park’s underutilization.

While Somerville has had the fortune of several new and renovated parks in the past few years, none have truly sustained the array of community uses that the refurbished Albion Park is now supporting – as credited by residents, abutters, elected officials, business owners, city staff members, and perhaps most importantly, the youth of the city. The park offers year-round interest and a range of both passive and active recreation for people of all ages. Deemed "the best park in the city" by Mayor Curtatone, it has truly become a destination within the neighborhood and city, and the refurbishment effort represents a major investment by a city in its people. Since its opening in early October 2009, the park has hosted thousands of visitors, been cited as an asset in real estate listings for nearby homes, and even been included in segments on USA Today and PBS highlighting opportunities for healthy urban living in Somerville.

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BSLA 2010

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AWARDS

Boston Society of Landscape Architects Award Honor Award for Parks and Recreation Facilities Design, 2010

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