On a cold Monday morning, Yihua Liu sat on a bench with a friend at the Rail Park. Now a student at Drexel, he’s lived in Chinatown all his life, and he’s noticed the neighborhood changing.
The 11th Street Bridge Park will be DC’s first elevated park, stitching together neighborhoods long-divided by the Anacostia River in the southeast quadrant of the city.
The 11th Street Bridge Park (Bridge Park) is a project of the nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River and the DC government, whose partnership ensures that the park meets a diverse set of social, health, environmental, and economic goals. The Bridge Park team has led their work with a strong focus on equity by engaging with hundreds of community members to develop an Equitable Development Plan that addresses how cities can make smart investments in communities to ensure longtime residents can stay and thrive in their neighborhoods. To that end, the team has secured over $10 million to implement the plan’s strategies and is working with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC.) LISC has committed $63 million through their Elevating Equity initiative that makes direct investment to organizations working toward equity in the Bridge Park’s impact area.
|Design Team||OMA, OLIN, WRA|
Building Bridges Across the River
|Project Leader||Scott Kratz|
Steering Committee Member
Latest News / 11th Street Bridge Park
Human beings are hardwired to seek out what we define as “wellbeing”: connection and belonging; safety; familiarity and predictability; purposeful and creative influence on our surroundings and future; and access to food, shelter, and other resources without shame or danger. Wellbeing is about being whole, as individuals and communities. While health and wellness are part of this, wellbeing reaches much further and deeper. It’s foundational.
Successful equitable development takes work but there are steps and actions organizations can take to ensure local communities are truly involved. The 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C. will break ground later this year, but it is the long-term community engagement work that illustrates how time, trust, and collective ownership are vital to successful equitable development.