The Design Oversight Committee: A Community Vision

Written by Scott Kratz

The 11th Street Bridge Park presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to establish a new public space in the nation’s capital while reconnecting historically separated neighborhoods, and the entire region, to an important but forgotten historic waterfront. A national design competition will provide a park design that connects residents and visitors alike to the historic and environmentally sensitive Anacostia River while providing new access to educational and cultural facilities, active recreation, urban agriculture and other amenities.

Accomplishing all of these goals in one unified and inspirational design will be no small task, and as the competition draws some of the brightest design minds from around the country, a group of experts and community members from a diverse range of fields – engineering, park management, architecture, culture, sustainability – is playing a crucial role in guiding this effort. Comprised of local stakeholders and nominations by DC City Councilmembers, our “Design Oversight Committee” will provide such guidance and will bring their valuable knowledge, insight and experience to bear on the 11th Street Bridge Park design competition.

Last week, the Design Oversight Committee had its first meeting to review our list of design principles (which will serve as the DNA for this project) and description of community requested facilities inspired by over 200 meetings to date. Going forward, the committee will meet with the competition teams to ensure feasibility, contextualism, and adherence to our project goals. As the competition launches, the committee’s work will help promote and protect the vision of countless community members that have shared their ideas and passion to help make this park possible, and will enjoy it for generations to come.