Steam Park by <p>Mia Fritsch-Anderson and Nina L.</p>
What makes an eco park? We decided to rethink that in the North Lawndale community by designing an eco park featuring a dog park, a cafe, a retention pond with an iconic viewing bridge, and a steam powered roller-coaster weaving them all together. The park was designed by a team using Minecraft to collaboratively 3D model online. We suggested to our Mentors the use of Minecraft as it is a very popular game that we all had experience with. Once the design was massed out, we developed a system to translate the Minecraft designs into real world sustainable material building blocks. The name Steam Park is both a description of how we power the park, and a play on the design aesthetic "Steampunk". Steampunk imagines a technologically advanced world where steam is the primary energy source. It draws heavy inspiration for the Victoria Era. After doing site research we noticed that the North Lawndale community didn't have a lot of parks, so we decided to add an eco park because it was the best option for all of our ideas. At first we struggled to have all of those ideas work together, and it looked like a few projects put together. We realized that putting the roller-coaster all through out the park instead of just one part it really connected the entire park. The kinetic energy generated by the roller coaster is then captured and sent back through out the park for all different uses. We also included a convenient cafe for North Lawndale residents featuring eco-friendly equipment. There were many different materials in Minecraft, but we also included Steampunk materials that were also sustainable. For example, in the cafe and bridge we included the use of Shou Sugi Ban, which is a Japanese Style of Charred Wood. The Roller-Coaster features Aged Bronze to play up the idea that this was an industrial Victorian ride. Finally, he dog park is made up of gabion walls with grass patches on top an homage to the classic Minecraft brick. We hope our design brings North Lawndale lots of fun and enjoyment.