After years in the making, North Park mini-park came to life in 2012 with the creation of the General Development Plan (GDP) which was led by the San Diego planning and design firm, MIG: Mukul Malhotra, Principal and lead designer; Andy Pendoley, community engagement lead; and Rick Barrett, urban design. The plan outlined the concepts for a large plaza-type space intended for gatherings, with areas for children’s play, picnics, and events.
In 2016, KTUA Planning and Landscape Architecture was awarded the project to prepare final design documents and to guide the construction of the park through a series of public meetings with the community and coordination with the City of San Diego, the Mayor’s office, North Park Planning Group, and the Business Association. KTUA Principal Chris Landgon and Project Manager Josef Gutierrez managed this project.
They had a vision: to create a common community gathering and event space for the North Park neighborhood.
They designed a place that could host special events such as small concerts, movie nights, fairs, and food-truck rallies, support the North Park Farmers’ Market and be able to provide the community with a passive, open space for everyday use.
They provided a unique identity and character to the park by including interactive features such as the Dynamo spinner, musical instruments, the North Park Monument wall, and a large open donor-paver plaza.
Other notable elements include a stage for gatherings and events, lots of assorted seating, and wayfinding pylons that light the way at night and, with tile at the base, tie in with the North Park sign on University Ave.
They included cool stuff for kids like a playground with interactive musical instruments, and a climbing play structure.
And, along North Park Way is a rain garden, which provides some greenery as well as stormwater storage and filtration.
They acknowledged donors using concrete unit pavers that feature laser-etched engravings that honor each donor’s involvement in the community.
The North Park urban plaza officially opened January 16, 2022, to a large gathering of supporters of all ages.