A Neighborhood Park

A plaza, comprised of reflective water pools and retail kiosks, interrupts a linear market running alongside the highway. It provides initial glimpses of the landscape. At the foot of the plaza, one can observe the beginning of a tree lined promenade running the whole length of the park, providing a continuous shaded canopy above a water stream (falaj). The park is a sanctuary, a respite from the noise and visual clutter. It is designed for the arid climate and is both low maintenance and highly efficient in water use by incorporating park-wide features such as indigenous plant species, on-site storm water filtration/infiltration, and a landscaping plan that maximizes comfort and activities for the visitors.

Low-rise Apartment Buildings
Tree Lined Promenade
Indigenous Desert Plants
Restaurants and Coffee Shops

The park is surrounded by a belt of restaurants, cafes, and community retail that occupy the base of low-rise residential apartment buildings. A strategy developed with two primary goals. One is to introduce enough footfall to activate the park area throughout the day by increasing density around it. This would also contribute to a sense of safety through natural surveillance The other goal is to provide enough value to entice private developers to invest in and around the area by both increasing potential return and providing a premium view.


Contrary to the prevalent convention of gated parks with highly controlled access, our proposal sets out to introduce a new type of park space, a threshold between the compact urban fabric of the city and the less or urban spread-out domestic neighborhoods that surround it. “A Park in Every Neighborhood,” is a mandate adopted by the local authorities for the development of residential neighborhoods within the city of Sharjah. This proposal, which constitutes part of a larger master plan for a residential area attempts to introduce the notion of a park as a civic offering engendering social engagement with no boundaries and no gates – proposing a departure from established norms, a type of park that becomes a destination by promoting and instilling the virtues of a diverse city.

Team: Ahmad Othman, Aneesh Illikkal, Eslam Salem, Mohamed Alsarif, Sarfaraz Ali, Monalyn Gelera, Raslan Al-Hawi, Mohamed Yasser

Client: Sharjah Department of Town Planning and Survey, U.A.E.

Collaborators: Landscape Architecture by Yoonju Kametani, Visualization by Dimatz, Physical Model by Modeltech

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