Laying the Groundwork for the Future
The new topography is based on the elevation of the projected 100-year floodplain. Manipulating the topography is a powerful way to create small intimate and large scaled open spaces, where in vistas van be conceal to be reveal again in a moment of awe. The sculpted topography works in concert with pathways and trees to choreograph the park’s experience. The raised areas, and the enrichment of soil conditions, provide sustainable habitat for trees and other plants. More than thousand new trees will be planted, vegetation selection will focus on native, as well as locally adapted species. The topography reuses materials from demolished buildings, parking lots and polluted soil, keeping material out of landfills and serving as an icon of recycling. The replacement of acres of these impervious asphalt lots with lawn, plantings will also reduce stormwater run-off and decreases the urban island heat effect.
The Circuit Track
The devastating flood and heavy rain fall that paralyzed Nashville in 2010 is just the sort of extreme precipitation event that global warming is expected to make more common. Therefore, perceptions of the East Bank site’s future are being reconsidered, as two thirds of the site lie within the 100-year floodplain. A new basin for stormwater and floodwater forms the heart of the park and provides a large open space with natural grass fields for fieldsports and open air events. Spectators can enjoy the game, views of downtown and with even some food and drink nearby. Around this central area runs a circular route, the Circuit Track, that follows the topography. The Circuit Track is a multifunctional space and can be used for cycling, walking and jogging, in-line skating, longboarding and is accessible for parkmanagment vehicles. All pathways are pedestrian accessible, and some are only open to pedestrians. Slopes at the north part of the site are lush and green, inviting visitors to sit on its grassy lower slopes, to explore its pathways that sometimes go along steep walls. Planted with a broad range of trees, shrubs and vegetation, the landscape too invite birds, insects and other wildlife to inhabit the area.