Recreation is much more than a pleasant diversion or a form of exercise. It is a way to strengthen our families and our neighborhoods by bringing us together as a community. The North Swan Street Park (re)development project involves extensive renovation of the former Arbor Hill Courts, a half-acre plot that had fallen into a state of disrepair. North Swan Street Park, like all of our City parks, reflects a community space where everyone is welcome to enjoy and utilize for passive or recreational activities.
Public interest for North Swan Street Park started in 2003 when the completed Arbor Hill Neighborhood Plan called for quality of life improvements in the area. And through a planning exercise at the University at Albany, Department of Geography and Planning, the Arbor Hill Neighborhood Association became excited at the potential opportunities of the rundown Arbor Hill Courts.
To achieve this goal, the City's Department of Development and Planning maximized citizen involvement and support from the community with an inclusionary process for (re)development and maintenance of the park… the City, the Arbor Hill Implementation Team, neighborhood residents, local businesses, area stakeholders and United Way all played a role and contributed input for the park (re)design. And in April 2010, the City and 3tarchitects initiated a charrette with community members to determine features, passive and active recreational activities to create a multi-generational park.
The North Swan Street Park outreach process involved a variety of techniques designed to solicit ideas and aspirations for the park while keeping the process transparent, inclusive and accessible. The community is looking forward to its grand opeing, slated to happen this summer!