The city of Hart wanted to better understand how their community would like to use a space designated as a downtown pocket park site. The space was a green strip located between S. State Street and a parking area that accesses another alley and S. Courtland Street.
The city held a public placemaking and design charrette for input and asked that Prein&Newhof offer a few suggestions at a public placemaking charrette to help keep the conversation focused. The range of activities and possibilities for what a pocket park space can provide is limitless. Prein&Newhof’s landscape architects provided information from the Project for Public Spaces, a non-profit organization, which included four key elements that help make vibrant spaces: Sociability, Access and Linkages, Comfort and Image, Uses and Activities. When all four of these are present, good things happen and spaces feel alive.
In addition to the four attributes for a vibrant space, the community identified the desire for more family-oriented activities and bringing people of all ages together. Prein&Newhof helped develop a concept plan for the pocket park and prepared a cost estimate to aid the city in locating grants and funding to make the plan happen. With CDBG funds and city financing, the community now has their downtown pocket park—a unique, family-oriented space tucked between two main street buildings with a fountain, hardscaping, play areas, seating, and landscaping.