DESIGN & PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE
Participatory Design & Consensus Building
Ms. Russo, as Director of Planning and Development
for the Roosevelt Island
Operating Corporation, spearheaded the initial Implementation
Plan for this new 15-acre park, designed by Lee Weintraub.
The plan was conceived with a large community task force.
Ms. Russo defined a process for the community to articulate
and prioritize the park elements to fit their desired
35 acres of program within the 15 acre reality -- balancing
active, passive and 200 semi-public community gardens.
Time pressure to relocate park uses from another housing
development site, multiple funding sources, and limited
resources requiring phasing all complicated the design
effort. Final design resolution required intense negotiation
DEP Third Water Tunnel project whose shaft lays
both below and directly in the middle of the park site.
With continued community support from the Octagon Park
Design Task Force, 8-acres of the park were realized,
including securing several matching grants and the community's
donation of well over $200,000 in labor.