The Carroll Avenue/Quebec Terrace neighborhood in Silver Spring, Maryland presented several issues: the area is plagued by a high crime rate; the apartment complexes support a large number of families who want to feel safe in their neighborhood and foster a sense of community; there are three landowners in this small site, each of whom would like to protect their investment. Additionally, for this project, we were in teams consisting of two landscape architecture students along with a high school student from the community organization 'Arts on the Block.'
Our final design incorporates a large gathering area accented by ornamental trees. There is a clear line of sight from all apartment buildings, helping the residents to feel safer in the open plaza. The rectilinear plaza's planting beds are of varying lengths, planted with small shrubs and grasses of different heights and textures. A half basketball court and life-sized chessboard encourages active play among both children and adults.
The parking lot was changed to incorporate back-in angled parking. Back-in angled parking promotes safety since all unloading and loading takes place on the sidewalk rather than in the travel lane. This parking concept is not used much in the region, so an informational flyer details all the benefits of this type of parking for the neighborhood, as well as examples of cities in which it has been successfully implemented.