San Pedro Creek Culture Park
THE NEW SAN PEDRO CREEK RECONSTITUTES THE EXISTING DRAINAGE DITCH AS A LIFE SUSTAINING LINEAR PARK AND EXPLORES TENETS OF LATINO URBANISM IN CONTEXT WITH A RENEWED CULTURAL LANDSCAPE.
Having once served as the site of the first civil and religious settlements of San Antonio, San Pedro Creek was channeled, deepened, straightened and sometimes completely covered in the early 20th Century, forming a social, cultural, and economic barrier between Anglo and Hispanic San Antonio. Driven by the need to forge a stronger bond between people and water, reestablish historical and environmental context while addressing flood control issues, the New San Pedro Creek re-imagines this “drainage ditch” as a linear urban park that celebrates the unique blended culture of an increasingly Latino San Antonio.
San Pedro Creek possesses a rich and beautiful story, a reflection of the many points of the city in which it traverses. Its design draws upon the character of those intersections to create a sequence of unique experiences for users while incorporating ideas inherent in Latino Urbanism. These characteristics include shared public space, local craft, walkability, public transit, and flexibility of space for informal gathering. The New San Pedro Creek also reestablishes the aquatic habitats and accompanying native plant life that once flourished on its banks to create a culturally vibrant, sustainable space for San Antonians working, living, and visiting the Center City.
Contain the 100-year floodplain within the San Pedro Creek banks.
Reimagine the creek as a linear urban park and continuous playspace for San Antonians working, living, and visiting the Center City.
Advance urban watershed and water quality management practices, ensuring the safety and sustainability of our biotic habitats.
Enhance and catalyze cultural and economic revitalization opportunities by reconnecting the creek with people, the urban core and articulating ‘quality of life’ value.
To read more about the San Pedro Creek Culture Park please visit: https://spcculturepark.com
Driven by the need to forge a stronger bond between people and water, retain historical and environmental context while addressing San Antonio’s 21st century water issues, we’re challenged by a dense and at times unyielding urban envelope, with extraordinary possibilities. We view the creek as a garden, a healing composite of living offerings that with great thought and care, will nourish us for years to come. By listening to the language of San Pedro Creek, its story will be shared via art and cultural components unique to our city.
Many times mistaken for a drainage ditch, modest San Pedro Creek continues to nestle deep in the historic heart of downtown San Antonio. In attempt to reconstitute its life-giving qualities, reflect on its rich history and create a sense of place, its primary purpose as a flood control safeguard must be emphasized. Numerous studies and research illustrated that the flood character of the creek still posed significant risk from the localized watershed (downstream of the tunnel inlet.)
Simultaneously segregating and aggregating, San Pedro Creek possesses a rich and beautiful story, a reflection of the many points in which it traverses. By drawing upon the character of place, it is possible to celebrate these individual components and establish a sequence while integrating them into a whole. To capture and restore San Pedro Creek’s tremendous potential, we look to Latino Urbanism to help tell the story.
Latino Urbanism in essence, is a blend of renewed emphasis on building community deciphered in the language of a new America. Blurring the lines of indoor and outdoor, Latino Urbanism synthesizes the common and the exquisite. It renders spaces warm, engaging and celebrates shared public space and connection. Emphasizing the supremacy of solids over voids and a generous use of pattern, it encourages the strategic use of shade, small pocket spaces and gathering spots in San Pedro Creek.
Giving voice to San Pedro Creek via Latino Urbanism helps us re-think, re-cycle and re-use everyday materials that may not appear architectural at first glance, but have been used in an architectural manner in communities with very modest means for generations. San Pedro Creek’s past, present and future inspires celebration of our traditions of culture, craft and elevation of the common. Yielding both comfort and delight, it pushes us to strive for more with less, yet still preserve the goals of maintaining a strong cultural and historical response to the design challenge ‘El Arroyo’ poses.
By incorporating Latino Urbanism into our dreams of San Pedro Creek, it provides us with a tool to shape this blended identity and gives birth to a physical representation of cultural anthropology. Employing Latino Urbanism’s Mestizaje (a blend) into San Pedro Creek honors both its sacred traditions and its everyday life. Embedded with remnants of our history and ecosystem, San Pedro Creek’s restoration will emerge layered in the manner of contemporary culture, serving as a modern ‘codex’ – an ancient tool used to accumulate history and document it for posterity.
San Antonio River Authority