Hong Kong – Two urban parks – one in Foshan, China, the other in Oklahoma City – have been selected as winners of this year’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) Urban Open Space Award. Thousand Lantern Lake Park System in Foshan, Guangdong, China and Myriad Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City were honoured on 8th October 2015 at the ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
The annual award recognises outstanding examples of successful large- and small-scale public spaces that have socially enriched and revitalized the economy of their surrounding communities. The competition includes a cash prize that goes to the organisations responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the winning park spaces.
Thousand Lantern Lake Park System owned by the Nanhai District Government and designed by the SWA Group, is a park system that represents a defining infrastructural effort that is integral to Nanhai’s strategic approach of urban transformation within a successful, people-oriented urban development district. The park system provides a creative solution for attracting people to its newly constructed Guangdong Financial High-tech Industrial Zone.
Myriad Botanical Gardens owned by the Myriad Gardens Foundation and designed by the Office of James Burnett, and Murase Associates, is a joint investment effort that takes a highly-underused yet prime 15-acre urban downtown garden and park site that had fallen into disrepair, and turns it into a state-of-the-art, highly active destination to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City and continue the renaissance of the entire downtown.
“Our jury was impressed with the number of submissions that creatively transformed the urban landscape while remaining sensitive to the nuances of the real people who will populate it,” said jury chair Michael Covarrubias, chairman and chief executive officer of TMG Partners in San Francisco, California. “As this is the first year the competition was open to submissions from across the world, the finalists and winners all serve as international case studies demonstrating how cities can leverage open space to create value to cities and entice more useful, healthy downtown activity,” he added.