The Union Market neighborhood in Washington, D.C., bounded by Florida Avenue, New York Avenue, and 6th Street NE is girded by a historic market core, and an array of wholesale and commercial functions. On top of this canvas, a host of mixed use developments is poised to enter the neighborhood, creating what promises to be a unique place to live, work, and shop. Carlos Perez served as the Project Manager and Urban Designer for the Union Market Pedestrian Realm Framework Plan as part of the District of Columbia Parks and Recreation Master Plan (PlayDC), which he completed while working for AECOM.
The proposed plan expanded on the approved Florida Avenue Market Small Area Plan by developing public realm master plan that was informed by the social and recreational needs of the area as identified through Play DC. It laid out a system of public spaces and streets aimed at fostering the kind of activities that will make the neighborhood a success, including opportunities for social interaction and physical fitness. The proposed plan included three traditional park spaces, but also imagines recreational amenities woven into an integrated street network: a pedestrian promenade to host special events certain times of day; generous sidewalks for games and exercise; movable chairs and tables for leisure; and a healthy tree canopy that provides shade and comfort. Most of the public spaces proposed would utilize city-owned property, but a few would require private property and therefore flexibility on the part of both the District and its private partners.