Agora Design Partnership | Design for Public Parks & Spaces

Edison School Park

  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Initiated 2008; Scheduled completion 2010
  • Conversion of a school playground into a mixed-use public park and playground. 2.5 acre public park.

Edison School Park is located in a decaying neighborhood that had been the site of several paper mills until the 1970s. By 2000, the area was on the border between rehabilitation and being a slum. Research has shown that parks within a neighborhood increase the value of the surrounding area. The goal of the project was to convert a school playground into a mixed-use playground and public park as a first step in rehabilitating the neighborhood.

The Agora Design Partnership and Richard Light worked with several community groups and the school board to design a park that would fit the economic, demographic and cultural needs of the neighborhood. The converted park will have a family pavilion for picnics, school outings and local groups, a performance space to meet the needs of local festivals, walking paths, green spaces, areas for repose and relaxation. The first phase of the project will be a new playground and expanded children’s play area.