Port Community Enhancement Project Among Five National Finalists

WILMINGTON, Calif. — June 4, 2013— The Port of Los Angeles’ Wilmington Waterfront Park is one of five projects that has been selected as a finalist for the 2013 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Urban Open Space Award, a nationwide competition that recognizes outstanding examples of transformative and vibrant public open space projects that have spurred economic and social regeneration of their adjacent communities.

“Port staff and Wilmington residents worked together on this project for years, so it’s gratifying to see the park earn this national recognition,” said Port Deputy Executive Director Mike Christensen. “Even more satisfying is knowing that we’ve created a beautiful open space used by thousands of local residents on a year-round basis.”

“Each finalist park draws folks in and encourages them to stay and actively participate,” said jury chairman M. Leanne Lachman, president of real estate consulting firm Lachman Associates LLC in New York, N.Y. “Submissions reflected the impressive creativity that is blossoming across North America as cities provide outdoor opportunities for relaxation, an amazingly broad range of physical activities, and a sense of community for citizens and visitors of all ages.”

The five finalists represent urban areas throughout North America and were selected based on how each impacted or revived their surrounding areas. The other finalists are the Yards Park in Washington, D.C.; Cumberland Park in Nashville, Tenn.; Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, N.Y.; and the Village on False Creek in Vancouver, British Columbia. The winning project will be announced at the ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago, set for November 5-8. A $10,000 cash prize will be awarded to the individual or organization most responsible for the creation of the winning open space project.

Wilmington Waterfront Park is a 30-acre largely contiguous landscaped area, between Harry Bridges Boulevard and C Street to the north, from Figueroa Street to Lagoon Avenue to the east. The El Paseo Promenade provides a pedestrian and bicycle connection from the east to the west end, continuing for approximately nine blocks. Mitigating the industrial impact of the Port, it provides a safe and accessible space that celebrates the vibrant community culture of Wilmington.

After a series of public planning workshops that began in 2004, a plan to take a sustainable, strategic approach to the area was approved in 2007. The Port of Los Angeles moved forward with the community-supported plan that offered never-seen-before views of the Wilmington waterfront. Designed by Sasaki Associates, Inc., construction began in 2009 and the Wilmington Waterfront Park officially opened to the public in June 2011.

To be eligible for the competition, an open space project must have been opened to the public for at least one to 15 years; be predominately outdoors and inviting to the public; provide abundant and varied seating, sun and shade, trees and plantings with attractions; be used intensively on a daily basis by a broad spectrum of users throughout the year; have a positive economic impact on its surroundings; promote physical, social, and economic health of the larger community; and provide lessons, strategies, and techniques that can be used or adapted in other communities.

Wilmington Waterfront Park has earned numerous awards since its opening, including the Project of the Year Award by the Southern California Chapter of the American Works Association and a Merit Award in Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

The Urban Land Institute is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.