Expert panels discuss downtown Redwood City park projects

in Community/Featured/Headline

With ambitious downtown Redwood City park projects in the works, a coalition of local community groups is the midst of a series of expert panels exploring best practices in park and plaza design.

Two remaining panel events will take place Wednesday, May 8, and Thursday, May 23 at the Fox Forum at 2411 Broadway St. in Redwood City, both from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Register for free at

In September last year, the City Council approved three sites in downtown to create a large, linear park from downtown to the Bay. The project intends to transition existing city sites, including parking lots, into a variety of park spaces and to create an urban recreational corridor stretching from the Downtown Library to the U.S. Highway 101 undercrossing.

Now, the city is headed into the design phase and seeks the public’s input. To that end, the Redwood City Parks & Arts Foundation and a coalition of community organizations are leading the panel series made up of “leading park architects, designers, and city planners highlighting insights, case studies, and lessons learned for the Redwood City community,” according to a statement from the coalition.

The first panel, held April 11, addressed converting the Library parking lot at Middlefield and Main streets in a public park space, and whether the Library could play a role in the space.

The Wednesday panel, set to discuss is set to discuss plans for the City Hall Parking Lot, includes Luke Stewart of ParkLab/Mission Bay Development Co., Anna Muessig of Gehl, and Andrew Moddrell of Port Urbanism, with moderator Dani Gasparini of PenTV.

Barbara Pierce, a former Redwood City Councilmember who moderated the April 11 panel, lauded the panel event as an exciting opportunity for the community to play an important role in designing the future parks.

“It is unusual for residents to hear from cutting edge professionals about the new uses for parks unless it is after they are hired for a project for the city,” she said. “Concepts like temporary parks, with flexible programming, and developing community ‘stewardship’ over a space are exciting and offer new opportunities for our community.”

Co-hosting the series with the Redwood City Parks & Arts Foundation are the Redwood City Improvement Association, Redwood City/San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, Redwood City Downtown Business Group, Sequoia Hotel, Friends of the Redwood City Public Library, and Redwood City Downtown Neighborhood Association.

More details about the project can be seen here.