Consultants unveiled plans Thursday for Oklahoma City's MAPS 3 urban park that aim to strike a balance between natural landscapes, man-made amenities and sustainable land use.
Three design concepts were revealed at Thursday's meeting, the second of three planning meetings conducted by Hargreaves Associates consultants and city officials. The concepts are based on planning documents and feedback from more than 1,600 Oklahoma City area residents who filled out an online survey following the first meeting.
The main difference in the concepts is where the so-called “programmed” areas of the park are. Programmed portions of the park have a specific purpose, like a basketball court or dog release area or a playground, whereas other parts will be more like natural landscapes.
All three of the design concepts feature a grand lawn near the northeast corner of the park, which the consultants consider a focus because it shares an intersection with Chesapeake Energy Arena and the future MAPS 3 convention center and downtown boulevard. The grand lawn can be used for large events or for informal recreation.
“We feel a lot of excitement about a large performance venue,” said Mary Margaret Jones, a Hargreaves senior principal.
The designs also will incorporate the elements of the park deemed most desirable by the people who filled out the online survey. Bicycle paths, bodies of water, space for festivals and open-air markets, nature walks, community gardens and a river boardwalk were all among top choices.
In general, each design also features heavily programmed areas of the park at the northern and southern edges, but the section of the park south of I-40 has more natural landscaping.
“We almost have sort of a bar bell of activity at both ends of our park,” Jones said.
Consultants and city officials also intend to make the park as sustainable as possible, with efficient use of water and energy in mind.
The first design presented Thursday has most of the programmed parts of the park on the northern edge, similar to the density of programming at Myriad Gardens. As the park spills to the south, it would be more like a natural space in the middle of the city, with a meandering path winding through trees.
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