There’s A Beautiful New Park In San Juan City
In a congested metropolis like Metro Manila, parks and open green spaces for the public are few and far between. So when a new park opens, it’s always a pleasant surprise.
One of the latest parks to be developed is the Jackson Park along Jackson Street in Greenhills West, San Juan City, which was officially opened last September 23, 2018. Designed by principal landscape architect Paulo Alcazaren of PGAA Creative Design along with arch. Jon Kevin Soto, Larch. Louis Balbino Santos, arch. Donnie Ray Alfaro, and Francis Filoteo, the team transformed a formerly drab village park into a lush and inviting urban sanctuary.
The original park (above) was under-utilized and had uninviting conditions—such as a fence that turned off village residents, and areas around the playground that were exposed to the sun and were thus too hot to play in. Here’s how the team improved the park:
Lush landscaping takes center stage
To make the park more inviting, tropical plants and shrubs replaced the old wire fence. The sidewalk was replaced with a better-designed and PWD-accessible pathway that doubles as a jogging path.
The new, immaculately groomed lawn seen above can also be used as a futsal field.
It was built around existing trees
The park has majestic, 50-year-old ficus trees with a wide spread of leaves. The design team made use of the shade and relocated seating areas, real wooden decking, and a playground under the trees.
Events can be held in the modern pavilion
“All the existing trees were conserved, and the landscape was integrated with a new event pavilion in a modern minimalist style that provides an understated and elegant frame for the new open lawn and the park’s amenities,” reads the park description on PGAA’s Facebook page.
There’s a safe playground and it’s PWD-friendly
The children’s playground was moved to a safe, cushioned surface under the shade of the trees, and aside from the generous park seating, PWD access such as railings and ramps are provided in all areas.
The development of new parks sets an example to all Filipino neighborhoods, in hopes that they too will follow suit. “For a better Metro Manila and all other urban sites in the country, we should have an open green space like this, not more than 500 meters safe walking distance from where every Filipino lives,” Alcazaren writes.
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