Protective park potential

Northern waterfront park concepts presented

Two park design concepts were presented during a public meeting last week by the Rebuild By Design team which will be constructed at Harborside Park.
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Two park design concepts were presented during a public meeting last week by the Rebuild By Design team which will be constructed at Harborside Park.

Last week the Rebuild by Design Project team presented two park concepts for Hoboken Cove Park both of which include programming space, elevated walkways, and native plantings.

The redesign of Harborside Park into Hoboken Cove Park is part of the city’s Rebuild By Design project, which aims to protect the city from flooding caused by storm surges such as those caused by Hurricane Sandy that flooded Hoboken in 2012, damaging homes and businesses.

The project, funded with $230 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, calls for the construction of flood-resistant structures and storm-water control systems to protect areas vulnerable to flooding along Weehawken Cove to the north, and in and around NJ Transit’s Hoboken rail yard to the south. The structures include flood walls and soft landscaping such as berms and levees.

The team announced three designs, The Meadow, The Bloom, and The Ridge, last February but after receiving public feedback eliminated The Bloom design and added to the other two.

Down to two

The new park will expand the existing waterfront park and add two additional acres of open space.

Both concepts integrate a “central spine” which extends from 16th and Park Avenue to 15th and Garden Streets as part of the northern resist alignment.

This spine is composed of three technical components, a T resist structure up to 12 feet high and two retractable flood gates, housed in gatehouses on site, which will be deployed along tracks in the ground to protect the city during major storms.

The Meadow concept focuses on a centrally accessible meadow that covers the resist structure, like a pencil under a napkin, with programmed additional green features surrounding it.

It’s generally organized into two zones, an active zone with play areas, a dog park, fields on the western side, and a more passive zone on the eastern side near the waterfront which includes shaded seating and walkways, native garden plantings, flexible waterfront lawns, and amphitheater space.

A path through the central meadow that includes an elevated pedestrian walkway that will provide open views of the river and New York skyline highlights the design. It has a buffer area protecting those in the park from the busy streets, created with a wide planted area.

It also includes plantings and winding walkways throughout as well as shade structures.

The Ridge concept focuses on the elevated center of the park’s spine and creates an elevated path and special outlook platform at the highest point of the park. The central ridge walkway is buffered on either side by surrounding slopes and planted terraces.

The design organizes the park into an active zone to the west with a court space, playground, dog park, and a passive zone to the east. The concept took inspiration from the nearby Palisades and includes a palisades wall with garden spaces at various heights with a variety of winding routes up and down the ridge’s east side. The ridge design does not have the same planted buffer as the meadow but instead more traditional city sidewalks with a small planting area between the street and park facilities.

Both options include seating, shade structures, and natural plantings, which are native to the area and can survive droughts as well as salt water should flooding from the river occur.

 Next steps

The Rebuild by Design team gathered feedback during the public meeting and will use that feedback to present one final design concept this fall.

In the meantime, residents who were unable to attend the meeting can find the presentation online at https://www.nj.gov/dep/floodresilience/rbd-hudsonriver.htm.

Community members are also asked to fill out a survey which is available at the same website until June 28.

The survey responses will be used when creating the final design.

For updates on this and other stories keep checking www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Marilyn Baer can be reached at Marilynb@hudsonreporter.com.