The Design Trust pioneered a twelve-week inclusive Community Design School that empowered community members to formulate and initiate design improvements addressing access to and circulation within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Over the course of twelve weeks, 23 Community Advisors from the surrounding neighborhoods gathered to analyze, plan, debate, and design new ideas for the park’s biggest challenges. The group has origins in 12 countries, speak eight languages, range in age from 16 to 70, and represent a wide variety of civic, immigrant, and environmental stewardship organizations in the vicinity of the park. 10,000 people attended the culminating exhibition of ideas at the Queens Museum.
The Building the Community Design School at Flushing Meadows Corona Park publication and toolkit was published in English and Spanish as a way to document the curriculum and continue advocating for civic leadership through the Community Design School model. As an open and collaborative school that brings everyday citizens and public service stewards together to learn, create, and design, the School model is applicable to a range of public spaces. The newly formed Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance, and corresponding Community Advisory Board, includes Community Advisors from The World’s Park project. The model is expected to strongly inform the role and structure of the emerging Community Advisory Board as a proactive body charged with setting the comprehensive vision for the park.