Hung Dao Heritage Garden

Small Center collaborated with the LSU Landscape Lab and Hung Dao CDC to create a plan that would transform a blighted 6.5 acre site in lower Algiers into a cultural hub featuring a Vietnamese Heritage Garden, recreational fields and play equipment, an orchard, community gardens, and an expanded community center designed to capture and distribute rainwater to surrounding garden sites.

Project Dates

September 2013–December 2014

Context

Established in the 1970s by refugees from the Vietnam War, New Orleans’ Vietnamese communities represent some of the strongest ethnic cultures in the region; in lower Algiers, the Hung Dao community has grown to approximately 350 families. The community recognizes the importance of passing down its cultural traditions to the next generation and beyond, which led to the idea of a heritage garden that would tell the story of Hung Dao through plantings, food, and traditions native to all regions of Vietnam.

Small Center Engagement

Under the leadership of then Councilwoman Kristin Palmer, the project team worked closely with the Louisiana Land Trust, which demolished the site’s abandoned apartment complex to make way for the proposed new park and gardens. Small Center held a series of community meetings to shape the final plans, including designs for architectural, landscape, and water management improvements. Plans for the proposed park envision a place for locals and visitors to engage with Hung Dao’s Vietnamese culture through youth education, community gardening, recreation, gathering, and cultural events, including the famous New Year’s celebration (Tet Festival).

Partner Organization

Hung Dao Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit organization located in New Orleans’ lower Algiers neighborhood, dedicated to strengthening the community through recreation, cultural literacy, and public events.

Outcome

The Hung Dao community established a community development corporation that has acquired ownership of the land, forged relationships with key partners, and is currently pursuing funding to realize the first phases of the plan. To view or download the completed visioning document, please click here.

Collaborators

Hung Dao Community Development Corporation

  • Son Nguyen
  • Van Pham

Louisiana Land Trust

  • Michael Taylor

Individuals

  • Kristin Palmer
  • Victor Franckiewicz

Team Members

Project Leads

  • Tiffany Lin (Design Lead)
  • Elizabeth Mossop (Design Lead)
  • Nick Jenisch (Project Manager)

Students

  • Stuart Hurt (2014 Summer PID Fellow)
  • Michael Averitt

Staff

  • Maurice Cox
  • Dan Etheridge
  • Maggie Hansen
  • Dozenia Marshall
  • Sue Mobley
  • Donn Peabody
  • Emilie Taylor Welty

Support

  • Harrah’s Community Grant Program
  • New Orleans City Council

Press and Awards

Algiers Vietnamese Community Planning Neighborhood Park

The New Orleans Advocate