Las Vegas is not known for its green spaces, but a new urban park may change that reputation. Named simply “The Park” and designed by New York-based firm !melk, the new space opened last month right on the Strip, adding splashes of green to an already colorful city landscape. After 20 months of construction, the Park becomes the very first urban park in Las Vegas, with generous seating options, water features, native plants, and nighttime lighting befitting of the Strip’s famous atmosphere.
Rather than cutting down trees to put up a parking lot, !melk designed a park to take over a previously paved section of the Vegas strip, occupying approximately six acres between New York New York and Monte Carlo. The Park, which opened April 4, is a water-wise urban microclimate with 250 shade trees and over 7,000 individual plants—native and adapted varieties—as well as several fun water features. Several 60-foot-tall shade structures were manufactured by a ship-building company in the Netherlands, and are outfitted with lights to illuminate the park at night.
This area of Las Vegas, owned predominantly by MGM Resorts International, sees more than 40 million visitors each year. Due to the high foot traffic on the Strip, the Park has the potential to become the most visited park in the world. By comparison, New York City’s Central Park receives around 42 million visitors each year, so the competition is stiff. In fact, the top six most heavily trafficked city parks are located in NYC, so the new park in Las Vegas is bound to make history, even if it doesn’t steal the top spot.
“[The Park] celebrates the Mojave desert, using its colors, patterns, materials and vegetation,” said Jerry van Eyck, Founder & Principal, !melk landscape architecture & urban design, in a statement. “Amidst the hectic hustle and bustle of the Strip, we were able to create something that is not just sustainable, but also genuinely authentic to the City. In addition to its iconicity, The Park reinstates what Vegas once was: an oasis in the middle of the desert.”
Images via Hans Joosten