“A kick off meeting establishes consensus among the internal team, which can save time and energy in later phases of the project.” – Design Workshop
On site discussion of project area. Image: ASLA
Following the kickoff meeting, the project team conducted a site tour to explore and document the conditions of the neighborhood. The group walked through the majority of the thirteen blocks included in the project area. Discussions focused on existing conditions such as drainage, infrastructure, tree health, historic/cultural development, views, mobility, land use, shade and human comfort, and signage. ASLA staff added their personal experiences working and walking through the Chinatown neighborhood.
The heat of the day allowed participants to truly understand a pedestrian’s experience walking these mostly shade-less streets, but also provided the opportunity to take a few preliminary baseline measurement. A temperature gun, part of Design Workshop’s tool kit, was used to compare temperatures in the sun and shade – often with a 20 degree difference!
The design team recorded observations and group comments on printed maps. These circles, “x”es, and notes will be translated into key observations and provided as a summary document after the meeting.
Project area and route for the site tour. Image: Design Workshop
ASLA hosted project leads, Steven Spears and Philip Koske of Design Workshop (DW), and their key consultants from Ohm Van Sweden, Vika Capital, Walter Moore, and Agnew at ASLA headquarters for a kickoff meeting for the Chinatown Green Streets Project.
Meeting participants reviewing materials. Image: ASLA
Gathered together amongst maps and images, ASLA staff and design team members discussed the vision, thesis, and proposed success factors for the project. The ideas gathered together from previous documents and writings about the project allowed DW to succinctly capture ASLA’s intention for the project and very few comments were necessary to improve upon what was proposed.
Next, Design Workshop outlined a few foreseen risks for the project, such as stakeholder complexity and maintenance. This got the crowd talking and an in-depth conversation was had. The team added a few more possible issues and the red pens of Steven and Philip were flying as they took notes.
The meeting moved on to project metrics. The initial proposed goals were all in line with ASLA’s expectations for the project and are currently being revised by the project team. A brief mind mapping session followed and allowed everyone to share their fears and expectations for the project. The flipchart quickly filled up with words ranging from “colorful” to “biohabitat”. It was good to hear each person’s ideas for the project and get them all onto one piece of paper. This activity was enlightening and exciting and the entire business meeting was a great start to an important project.