Mathieu Court Alley Play Street

Mathieu Court Alley Play Street-1

Project Contact:



Lina Velasco
lina_velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us
(510) 620-6841

#playeverywhererichmond


Ribbon Cutting for Mathieu Court Alley Play Street



Please come and join us to celebrate the inauguration of this new Play Street in Richmond.

When? Friday, June 9, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Where? Mathieu Court Alley, near Barrett Avenue


This project was funded in part by a KaBoom! Play Everywhere Challenge grant. To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere. This project is a collaboration between the City of Richmond, Richmond Art Center, The Trust for Public Land, Pogo Park and the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council. To learn more about the Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Project, contact Lina Velasco (lina_velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us) at the Planning Department.

The Play Everywhere Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM! in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mathieu Court Ribbon Cutting Eng-Spa 6-9-17-web

Community Design Charrette at Mathieu Court Alley for the Play Everywhere Challenge



Please come and share your ideas on how to turn our recently transformed “green alley” into a Play Street, where kids and families can come and play.

When? Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Where? Mathieu Court Alley, at the corner of Barrett Avenue 

To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere.
This project is being done in colaboration with the Richmond Art Center, the Trust for Public Land, and the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council. To learn more about the Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Project, contact Francisca Penafiel (francisca_penafiel@ci.richmond.ca.us) or Lina Velasco (lina_velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us) at the Planning Department.

The Play Everywhere Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM! in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mathieu Court Design Charrette Event 10-19-16-

Project Description



The City of Richmond (COR), Richmond Art Center (RAC), The Trust for Public Land (TPL), & area residents will partner together to paint interactive games & artwork on a recently transformed "green alley" to transform it into a play street where families can have a fun, green, and clean place to play in a underserved and park-deficient neighborhood. The project partners will host a design charrette to develop ideas for the play street, & then work with artists, local non-profits, & volunteers to implement the improvements.

Project partners will select 1-2 Lead Artists with public art & community engagement experience from the RAC's roster of experienced teaching artists. Through RAC's Artists in Schools & Arts in the Community Program, the partners will work with two local elementary schools & youth of the Nevin Community Center to develop and implement portions of the project. In addition to the work done by K-6th grade students in after school programs, the project lead artists will hold 3-4 community work days in which community members & families of student artists can help install the fence art work & complete the asphalt painting.

The improvements contemplated include games painted on the ground, a game that will be displayed as fence art, stepping stones for balancing, blackboards for drawing, boulders for seating, community garden boxes with seating areas & interactive educational signs about the green features of the alley, nutrition, and healthy living. Other improvements include a trash & recycling receptacle, a safety barrier that can be closed when families are playing, & gateway fencing for the play street. The themes of the games will focus on sustainability, nutrition, & healthy living. The games & signage proposed will be in English and Spanish to encourage use of this play street by non-English speaking area residents. Prior to the green alley improvements, this alley was a source of blight for this community. This project will make play a priority in the alley versus vehicle travel and will help create community ownership of the alley to ensure its longevity as a community asset.

The creation of an attractive neighborhood green & play space will reduce the need for vehicle trips to have opportunities for play and to be physically active in a park-deficient neighborhood. It will also encourage and support the use and enjoyment of outdoor space, enhancing the community & promoting public health.

Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Selected as One of the 50 Winners Nationwide in the Play Everywhere Challenge



Earlier this summer, the City of Richmond partnered with the Richmond Art Center, Trust for Public Land, Richmond Love Your Block Initiative, and the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council to submit a concept to paint interactive games & artwork on Mathieu Court Alley, a recently transformed "green alley". The idea is to add opportunities for play where families can have a fun, green, and clean place to play within the alley in this park-deficient neighborhood. In August, this project was selected as a finalist to submit a full grant application and on Tuesday, September 20th, the project was selected as one of the 50 winners, out of the 1000 plus applications submitted nationwide. The project implementation is expected to begin in November, beginning with a design charrette with area schools and residents in October.

To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, and view a gallery of winning ideas from cities across the US, please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere. To learn more about the Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Project, contact Francisca Penafiel at francisca_penafiel@ci.richmond.ca.us or Lina Velasco at lina_velasco@ci.richmond.ca.us. #playeverywhererichmond

The Play Everywhere Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM! in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Mathieu Court Alley Greening Project



Project Description:

Mathieu Court is a paved alley, 25 feet in width and approximately 640 feet in length. Working with the community to green this 16,000 square foot paved surface will promote a healthy community by reclaiming this space as a usable neighborhood amenity, and help deter undesirable activities that occur there now. Residents and community partners will not only be involved in the designing of the space, but also in the construction activities through part-time employment and volunteer opportunities.

The project will replace 16,000 square feet of impervious paving with landscaped areas, and with pervious pavers and/or turf cell where vehicle access is necessary. Incorporating bioswales and/or rain gardens, and native planting, the project will mimic natural systems that clean and filter stormwater, recharge groundwater, and create habitat for native birds and beneficial insects. It will create a new community green space with tree canopy (possibly fruit or nut trees), community garden opportunities, and landscaped informal seating areas. Community gardens and edible landscape will create a source of fresh produce in a “food desert” neighborhood. Limiting vehicle access will allow for more shared use of the entire space, with opportunities for children to play safely, as well as providing a safe route of travel. 

The greening of Mathieu Court will decrease air and water pollution by filtering stormwater, mitigating runoff, and providing tree canopy. The additional tree canopy and landscape area will also reduce heat island effect, mitigating effects of climate change. The existing asphalt paving can be recycled and incorporated into underlying base material for areas of pervious paving, thus limiting consumption of natural resources. Creation of an attractive neighborhood green will reduce the need for vehicle trips to get to an open space in this park-deficient neighborhood. It will also encourage and support the use and enjoyment of outdoor space, enhancing the community and promoting public health.

Project Area:

Concept site plan


Project Concept:

Alley-Before.jpg