the Neighborhood Design Center

Project Background

Goodwin Park is the largest recreational park in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. The Neighborhood Design Center partnered with the City of Seat Pleasant to re-imagine this park as an inclusive recreational community space for all residents to enjoy.

In addition to including recreational assets, the city was interested in investing in the creation of a landmark cultural space. 

The Neighborhood Design Center worked with the City Council and community members to gather information about their vision for a cultural hub. The resulting concept modified the existing infrastructure to support concerts, small community gatherings, and community rentals for birthday parties or other celebrations.

The park's existing conditions.

We made recommendations in the following categories:

    • Public Art & Lighting

    • Events & Programming

    • Signage & Visual Identity

    • Seating & Site Furnishings

    • Plant Palettes, Site Access & Paths

“I have worked in Seat Pleasant for over 20 years and the Cultural Hub is going to be my favorite project.”

Kyrthlyn Rhoda, Grant Manager/ARP Admin. Asst.

Community Engagement 

Community members completed surveys both online and in person. NDC also held a workshop where community members noted which park spaces they used most and least, described the role of the park in their lives, shared their favorite park memory and what a perfect day in the park would entail, and discussed their ideas about creating a sense of place. Community members also shared their ideas for cultural hub activities.


The Vision

The vision for the Goodwin Park Cultural Hub is to create a vibrant and inclusive community space that serves as a hub for cultural enrichment, recreation, and community engagement. It will be a place where people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcomed, safe, and inspired to come together, connect, and learn.

The Goodwin Park Cultural Hub will support intergenerational activities as well as programs focusing specifically on youth, older people, and new parents, and will adapt to meet community needs. It will include places where people of all ages can learn and grow, space to play, spaces to relax and reflect, and spaces to express oneself.

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Design Principles


    • The Cultural Hub will accommodate a wide range of activities and programs, with spaces that can be adapted for different purposes.

    • The Cultural Hub should be accessible and inclusive, accommodating people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

    •  Safety should be a top priority in the design of the park. This includes ensuring proper lighting, clear sight lines, and well-maintained paths.


    • The Cultural Hub should provide opportunities for education and learning for people of all ages. This includes educational displays and interactive elements that promote learning about the local culture, history, and natural environment.

    • The Cultural Hub should also provide spaces for workshops, classes, and other educational activities.


    • There should be a presence of colorful elements including murals and bright signage to create a friendly atmosphere. 

    • The Cultural Hub should provide dynamic spaces for relaxation, contemplation, and rejuvenation. This includes seating areas, shaded spaces, and natural elements such as trees to create a sense of calm. 

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