New York City isn’t the only city looking to revitalize its Navy Yard. Lining 42-acres of land along the Anacostia River in Washington DC, The Yards is a redevelopment project that has transformed the unused annex land attached to the Navy Yard into an urban open space. Initially urged by the D.C. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the space is the product of a public-private collaboration between the local government agencies and Forest City Washington.
Named one of America’s best new parks by The Atlantic Cities Blog (along with New York’s very own High Line), the park aims to create an open space that is accessible to people from all backgrounds. Easily reachable by public transportation, bike, and walking, The Yards hosts a number of summer programs such as a Friday Night Concert Series.
The development project is more than just the park however. According to Forest City Washington, the project is a total of 5.5 million-square-foot project that will include approximately 1.8 million square feet of office, 2,800 residential units and 400,000 square feet of retail.
Although it was cloudy the day we visited, the park’s landscape design stood out of the gloom. The park’s bridge had twisted steel, arching and attaching itself to each end of the gap between pool below.
While at first glance this open space my mimic other open spaces, it has numerous qualities about that differentiates itself. Most of the park was created by local businesses from Ward 8, one of the most impoverished areas in D.C. With social responsibility in mind, this project’s central focus is access, allowing residences and visitors from all backgrounds are able to enjoy this park.
Although not large in area, the park is well used throughout the summer, often very crowded on summer days. From kids using the fountain as a pool and areas for people to converge, this new attraction did not just add to the waterfront, but truly revitalized this area of D.C.