SWA Group Win 11 ASLA 2021 Design Awards

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SWA Group ASLA 2021 Design Awards, Ricardo Lara Linear Park Lynwood Landscape, Freedom Park Atlanta

SWA Group Win 11 ASLA 2021 Design Awards

November 13, 2021

SWA Landscape Architects News

SWA Group Recognized With Eleven ASLA 2021 Design Awards

These newly-awarded parks unite communities with thoughtful common ground.

Ricardo Lara Linear Park in Lynwood, California, United States:

photo : Jonnu Singleton/SWA
San Francisco, CA, November 2021 –  Eleven award-winning projects from SWA Group show how landscape and the creation of a thoughtful “common ground” can contribute to urban resilience and vitality. Two of SWA’s projects – the design of Ricardo Lara Park in Lynwood, California and a master plan for Atlanta’s Freedom Park – were singled out with high honors by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) national jury. The annual program recognizes excellence in the practice of landscape architecture and the winning entries are selected based on quality of design and execution, innovation, and impact on community and the profession.

Ricardo Lara Linear Park in Lynwood, California, United States:
Ricardo Lara Linear Park Lynwood, California, USA
photo : Jonnu Singleton/SWA

Both projects, Ricardo Lara Park and Freedom Park, are vibrant public spaces that enrich their surroundings well beyond trees and plantings. They reinforce landscape’s potential to enhance and unify communities.

Ricardo Lara Linear Park in Lynwood, California, United States:
Ricardo Lara Linear Park in Lynwood, California
photo : Jonnu Singleton/SWA

Ricardo Lara Park in Lynwood, California demonstrates how a small investment and creative thinking about landscape can transform the very infrastructure that has long divided and isolated a community into an amenity that unites it, offering much-needed environmental and recreational benefits.

Ricardo Lara Linear Park in Lynwood, California, United States:
Ricardo Lara Linear Park Lynwood, California
photo : Jonnu Singleton/SWA

More than five acres of vacant lots along an I-105 freeway embankment were transformed into a mile-long park that filters stormwater runoff (equivalent to six swimming pools per year), improves air quality, and provides multiple outdoor gathering spaces. Cross streets divide the park into five blocks, and each block accommodates a different program: dog park, fitness stations, play structures, community gardening and education, and passive recreation with artwork and storm water detention. Advancing Lynwood’s “Healthy City Initiative,” the park connects with the LARIO Bike Trail and promotes healthy lifestyles in what has been a community long under-served by parks and open space.

Freedom Park image courtesy SWA

Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA:
Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
image courtesy SWA

Freedom Park in Atlanta, Georgia was born out of a struggle to stop the expansion of a planned state highway in the late 1970s and 80s. Slated to tear through a historic urban community, the roadway established its footprint but was stopped through the grassroots efforts of neighbors, advocates and civic leaders. Freedom Park’s unique outline, crisscrossing through seven Atlanta neighborhoods, bears the scar of that struggle.

Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
image courtesy SWA

The resulting open space, still divided by local parkways, established a park, 130-acres in size and stretching over 2.5 miles in length, with a perimeter that extends over 8 miles in the heart of Eastside Atlanta. In the spring of 2020, the Freedom Park Conservancy, founded in the early 1990’s, began a masterplan process to help define the future development of Freedom Park with the goal of establishing a long-range roadmap.

Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
image courtesy SWA

The master plan for the park’s future was informed by intense community involvement, developing Signature Projects with the ambition of repositioning the park from its presence as a proud scar into a more potent connective tissue—one that offers an equitable, culturally rich and civic-minded common ground for Atlanta and the nation. The spirit of Freedom Park is personified as a place where the public can participate in an open dialogue to find common ground and engage in civic discourse for the betterment of our communities.

Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
image courtesy SWA

In addition to the two projects above, SWA was acknowledged with nine regional ASLA awards including recognition for Nantong Riverfront (Nantong, China), Nelson Mandela Park (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Markham Square (Conway, Arkansas), as well as for the Ping Yuen Public Housing Redevelopment (San Francisco, California), among others.

Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
image courtesy SWA

SWA Landscape Architects

SWA Group Win Eleven ASLA 2021 Design Awards images / information received from SWA Group

Location: Ricardo Lara Linear Park in Lynwood, California, United States & Freedom Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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