Rediscovering the connection to the Quinnipiac
The Quinnipiac River is a tidal river that leads to the New Haven Harbor and ultimately the Long Island Sound in New Haven, Connecticut. The water is essential to the livelihood of many in New Haven. Besides those who utilize the river to make their living, however, few in New Haven have strong availableaccess to the waterfront. All along major bodies of water in the United States, cities are beginning to reclaim their waterfronts as an asset for their communities.Rediscovering the Connection to the Quinnipiac looked at how several parks along the Quinnipiac River could connect to create a positive social space and unity in the community, while also having abeneficial impact on the ecology of the Quinnipiac River. It also looked at how this connection couldbe used to create an identity for the Front Street neighborhood. This study consisted of three phases.The first introduced and examined elements of urban park design, ecological bank stabilization and greenways as connections through a literature review. It also explored precedent studies for urban waterfront revitalization through park redesign and then how those examples could be built upon to increase the success and sustainability of the redesign. The second phase included a design charette with twenty-six local community members that helped establish a list of desired elements for the parks and streetscape. These suggestions formed the skeleton for the final program. The third phase utilized the information gathered and synthesized to create a master plan for the two major parks of the Front Street neighborhood and the connection between them. Further design detail was provided with a site plan of the Quinnipiac River Park and support graphics. Rediscovering the Connection to the Quinnipiac provides a design solution to help give the Front Street neighborhood a cohesive identity and greater access to the river at their back door. A redesign of these spaces could revitalize the neighborhood and remind New Haven of the early glory of this majestic estuary.