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Designer Guide

Design an Urban Park - Advanced Level


Step by Step Instructions

Before your neighborhood was built, nature had the run of the
place. But as housing for people replaced their natural habitat,
all those critters and wildflowers had to find someplace else to
live. Maybe a corner was left for a small park with a playground,
paths, and benchesit too was built with people in mind, not

Gather your materials.

First download Autodesk AutoCAD, then download the
starter files in the .zip folder for this challenge. In the starter files,
youll find a step by step guide, software tutorial videos, and data
sets to help you get started.

Heres how you can welcome nature back into the heart of
the city, and make human residents happier and healthier: use
computer-aided design (CAD) software to renovate a small
community park, creating an urban ecosystem where flowers
bloom, birds sing, and kids play. The Project Brief provides
background on this green space challenge.

Everything else you need to succeed as a designer is

right in this guide, including:
instructions that walk you through the design challenge
design process, describing each phase of the challenge
how-to videos to pick up the software skills needed for
your design

See how its done.

Industry professionals use the design process to
understand their target audience and create a design that meets
their needs. Follow the design process through this challenge.

Make it.
Collaborate with your class and teachers on a design
solution, and build Revit models to present your ideas with
the help of software tutorial videos. Download Autodesk 360
to view, share, and edit design files with your teacher and
classmates. (This includes 5GB of free cloud storage.)

Share your success.

Upload your final 3D design to the Digital STEAM
Workshop for the world to admire, announce your success on
social media (hashtag #digitalsteam), and enjoy the kudos you
earned them!

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Designer Guide
Design an Urban Park - Advanced Level

Design Process
RG Architects principal Riyad Ghannam is a LEED-certified architect dedicated to building green, livable cities, but its not always easy
squeezing greenery and recreational space into crowded urban downtowns. He noticed there wasnt much open space between buildings
except for streets, where just a few cars take up a lot of space. What if some of that open street space could be reclaimed for people to use
instead of cars? Once started transforming parking spaces, vacant lots, and neglected corners into urban oases, he noticed a change in urban
neighborhoods. Turns out a little park can have a big impact on air quality, local business, even mental health.
To work through this design challenge, youll be using the same 7 steps that architects like Riyad use every day. Just follow the process outlined
below, and keep track of your ideas, notes, and sketches in a Design Notebook.









Design an Urban Park- Advanced Level - Page 2

Designer Guide
Design an Urban Park - Advanced Level

Understand the design challenge. Why is green

space important in a city? Discuss how green space
can affect the environment, including air quality,
waterways, soil erosion, climate, and wildlife. What
does green space mean to people in the neighborhood, such
as children, seniors, students, business owners, athletes, artists,
and pets? To get city permits for your park renovation project,
youll have to convince the city that the renovation is worth
the investment. How many people could your renovated park
serve, and how could it provide a habitat to local wildlife? How
can a small park deliver big returns in public health, safety,
and environmental benefits? Hold a discussion with your peers
to answer these questions, and make notes in your Design

Explore possible solutions and design considerations.

Watch how people behave in a city park, and note
the different activities taking place. Which activities
promote health, happiness, and neighborliness? Notice
when people leave a park how their behavior changes, and how
activities on a sidewalk are different from the ones in the park.
How many sidewalk activities promote health, happiness, and
neighborliness? How could your park renovation bring more
healthy, inspiring, neighborly activities and behavior to a gritty
city block? Go online or visit your local library to find examples
of famous small park designs. How have they addressed some
of the urban issues you observed? What kinds of improvements
do you think the designers could have made to solve these
problems? Write down your observations in your Design

Define the design criteria. Whos your target

audience, and how can your small park renovation
better address their different needs? Outline the design
requirements for your small park renovation, including
tree and shade planting, seating, trash cans, lighting, signage,
bicycle parking, and the star attraction: an interactive water
feature. Consult the site plan youve been given, and measure
all your elements to make sure they can fit within the space
allottedin this case, one acre. Next, consider park elements
that would be a draw for residents, commuters, and tourists.
Keep in mind that your design needs to comply with city, county,
and state building codes, and fit within your budget of $750,000.
Do the environment a favor, and design your small park out of
100% recyclable material. Make notes of your material selections
and design criteria in your Design Notebook.

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Designer Guide
Design an Urban Park - Advanced Level

Ideate designs to address the challenge. Sketch

out park renovation ideas that meet your design
requirements and show your imaginationthe bolder,
the better. This is your chance to turn an underutilized
green space into a relaxing neighborhood destination for families,
visitors, songbirds, and the occasional brave squirrel. Capture a
few basic small park designs in your Design Notebook, or play
around with scrap materials or AutoCAD software to create your
small park design. . When youve got some small park ideas
sketched out, discuss them with your classmates to help you
decide which ones are most promising.


Prototype your best designs in AutoCAD software.

Choose one or two desk renovation ideas to develop
into a CAD drawing with AutoCAD, so you can look
at your small park from every angle and see how it
works in practice. How could you make it even more functional,
sustainable and beautiful? Test your design: play around in
AutoCAD and see if you can add cool design elements to your
small park, while still meeting the design requirements. In your
Design Notebook, track the software skills you learned well, and
which ones you need to practice.

Refine your design, making improvements based

on feedback. Once you have a final 3D design for
your small park design, share it with your classmates.
This is your chance to explain how your design will
address the needs of neighbors, local wildlife, and plantlife.
Then, in groups of two or more students, discuss your design to
pinpoint whats working, and what needs tweaking. Does your
design meet the criteria you outlined in the Define phase? What
could you add or take away to make the small park more multifunctional or sustainable? When youre exchanging feedback,
keep it constructive and encouraging, and take lots of notes in
your Design Notebook. Those notes will be your guide to refine
your CAD drawing until you achieve the effect you want. You
might decide to combine concepts, capturing the best features
of two or more prototypes in a winning design. If you get stuck
on your design, AutoCAD how-to videos [link] can help you work
through the details.

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Designer Guide
Design an Urban Park - Advanced Level

Solution youve got it, so share it! Get ready to

present your design and detailed concept to teachers,
students, and guests. Anticipate tough questions in
your presentation, explaining in detail how your small
park redesign addresses the design criteria and meets your target
audiences needshow it serves residents and visitors while
sustaining the neighborhoods original inhabitants: local plants
and wildlife. You might even make a physical model of your
design as a visual aid for your presentation. Afterwards, capture
the experience in your Design Notebook by writing down how
each phase helped you renovate the park. What were some of
the inspirations behind your original sketch? How did feedback
help improve your design? Now that youve brought a neglected
park back to life, what other designs can you imagine that could
bring nature back into the city?

How-to Videos

Need a refresher on beginning and intermediate skills in

AutoCAD software? Check out AutoCAD how-to videos to make
sure you have the skills you need for this project, including:
Intermediate level:
-- Grip editing
-- Object selection and
-- Linetypes
-- Plotting environments

-- Viewport controls
-- Hatching, fills, and gradients
-- Blocks
-- Tool palettes
-- Polyline, spline and ellipse

Beginner level:

Need a little extra help? Want to learn more? Design

like a professional with how-to videos that cover
advanced skills in Autodesk AutoCAD software,

Multiline text


Materials library

-- User interface and navigation

-- Line, circle, arc, rectangle,
and polygon drawing tools
-- Object snaps and tracking
-- Coordinate systems and entry

-- Modify tools, including fillet

and chamfer
-- Adding dimensions
-- Plotting

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