River Edge | Aaron Ackerman

The proposed design envisions a community open space and regional sports park with an active and accessible river edge located on 20 acres adjacent to the Kern River in Bakersfield, California. The design is inspired by the ecological and cultural services of the river. In addition to providing unique diversity amongst vegetation and wildlife habitats, the river is a major cultural and recreational corridor for the City and provides a distinct riparian visual relief from the dry, flat character of the Bakersfield basin.

Architects: Aaron Ackerman

University: Cal Poly Pomona 

Study Model
Study Model

The design envisions a variety of community sports fields and a reinforced connection between the park and river.  Moments of introduced channelization would split and slow river flows at the park’s edge, allowing visitors to access, interact, and experience the water in new ways.

River Edge Scenario
River Edge Scenario
Mapping Scale2
Mapping Scale2

Design throughout the park would reinforce the river theme.  A children’s playground would include educational water features that mimic rise and fall of river flows. Furthermore, the proposed bike and pedestrian nature trails take on braided like stream flows, traveling along a restored riverbank of native riparian vegetation and geologic environments.

Park Master Plan
Park Master Plan

Design throughout the park would reinforce the river theme.  A children’s playground would include educational water features that mimic rise and fall of river flows. Furthermore, the proposed bike and pedestrian nature trails take on braided like stream flows, traveling along a restored riverbank of native riparian vegetation and geologic environments.

Aaron Ackerman

Aaron is a graduate student of landscape architecture. His interest in the landscape field is inspired by a depth of respect for the natural environment, and interest in pursuing a discipline that engages in community development, civic issues, and urban challenges. Aaron has always been intrigued with public space, both as the role of designer, and citizen. This interest is not solely for the physical form of spaces, but also the systems of activity, the human interactions, and democracy public spaces promote. “These are spaces where the idea of community becomes visible, where our shared values, and differences cross paths. In a world that continues to experience wealth polarization and increased privatization of space, the need for successful public space is only becoming more critical.”

Given these interests, Aaron is focused on exploring the discipline’s evolving civic role, including design of urban settings, parks, trail networks, environmental restoration efforts, and creative solutions for multi-functional infrastructure networks. As a graduate student, Aaron is developing an approach to shaping these environments in a way that promotes ecological principles among built, social, and natural realms, while celebrating the beauty of community. Aaron is currently a design intern with Mia Lehrer + Associates in Los Angeles.

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