The Port/Community Edge: A Successful Case Study

A well-designed edge can have a dramatic effect on the relationship between a port and its surrounding community. This paper presents a case study of the Wilmington Waterfront Park, documenting the strategies, planning, outreach, and design efforts that resulted not only in a successful, award-winning project, but fundamentally changed the relationship between the community and the Port of Los Angeles (POLA). The 30-acre park, situated on 9 former industrial blocks, provides much-needed open-space amenities and serves as buffer between the adjacent residential area to the north and heavy port operations to the south. It is part of a larger program that includes a major expansion and reconfiguration of the container terminal to the south. The Wilmington Waterfront Park benefits POLA and the community as a world class facility, a regional attraction, and through the dialog and increased trust that resulted from its planning and construction. This paper details the strategic decisions, public outreach, and planning steps taken that helped turn public hostility into overwhelming support for the project. It also covers the challenge of designing a project to serve as both an edge for the community, providing needed open-space and amenities, and an edge for the port, providing a physical buffer from the continued operation and expansion of the container terminal to the south. Design elements included extensive utility work, contaminated soil disposal, a 2,300-foot-long berm along the south edge of the project, support buildings, pedestrian bridges, and intricate hardscaping and landscaping. A unifying, angular aesthetic throughout the park and the incorporation of high quality materials and architecture reflect POLA's pride in the project, and the community's pride is evident in the very low instance of vandalism or other crime.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 1552-1561
  • Monograph Title: Ports 2013: Success through Diversification

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01521967
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784413067
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Apr 14 2014 4:35PM