Levy Park

Sustainability Statistics

Land

  • Levy Park protects floodplain function.
  • The project restores a partially degraded site.

Planting

  • The design conserved vegetation by saving and transplanting trees on-site.
  • 20 trees were protected on site and nine large trees with a diameter of 36 – 48 inches in caliper were relocated.
  • 138 trees were planted, including live oaks, allee elms, bald cypress, and shumard red oaks.
  • Planting encompasses 84,787 square feet.
  • 32% native plant species were used.

Water

  • A 7,500 square foot detention garden acts as an amenity while managing stormwater.
  • Houston has many flooding concerns. This design employs a land mitigation strategy and meets a detention requirement.
  • The trees can intercept 80,000 gallons of stormwater runoff on site, which are equivalent to the daily water usage of 800 American residents.*
  • The project features 3.3 acres of permeable surface.

Carbon, Energy + Air

  • Large trees provide shade, decreasing the temperature by 10 degrees in the park.
  • The trees sequester 19,200 pounds of carbon annually.**
  • During construction, pollutants were controlled and retained.

Economics

  • Property values in the area were increased due to the installation of the project. The price per square foot changed from $81 to $140 on the West side (170%+) and from $46 to $92 on the North side (200%+).  

Social

  • The park hosts an active and lively community garden through an organization called Urban Harvest. The design enhanced the existing gardens. The parking lot was designed to accommodate a pop-up farmers market.
  • The park acts as an amenity for the residents of surrounding neighborhoods, with a restaurant, activity lawn, dog park, playground, rain garden, educational facilities, and fitness.

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts)

** 120pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average f 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

Levy Park

Levy Park is a highly programmed 5.9-acre urban park located within the residential development project in the Upper Kirby District of Houston. The Upper Kirby Redevelopment Authority, a public-private partnership, hired OJB to design a world-class urban park.

Programming for the park includes a performance pavilion, two large event lawns, a community garden, several water features, and a dog park to ensure that the gardens offer something for everyone. A generous promenade circling the park connects a games area, play berms, decomposed granite seating courts, and a food kiosk. Several mixed-use residential and office buildings sit across the street and are united with the park by the surrounding renovated streetscapes. At the heart of the park is a winding children’s garden, which among its playful fountains and tree houses, sits several 40-70-year-old legacy live oak trees that were relocated on-site.

The renovation of the park into an amenity-rich, open, green space has been warmly embraced as the perfect addition to the neighborhood and a catalyst for economic development.

Location: Houston, TX

Team: Natalye Appel + Associates, Ward, Getz & Associates, Matrix Structural Engineers, Wylie Consulting Engineers, Fountain Source, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, 4b Technology, Minor Design

Awards:
Houston Press: Best of Houston, Best New Park, 2017; AIA Houston Urban Design Award, 2017

Photo Credit: Geoff Lyon, Dabfoto Creative, Morris Malakoff, Courtesy of Levy Park, Luis Ayala, Tommy Orellana, Scott Blons