A comprehensive community center that supports a range of recreational, educational, cultural, and community-based activities in Texas' densest neighborhood.
Deep public engagement led to the redevelopment of an old apartment building into a community center that reflects the needs and desires of a low-income, majority-immigrant neighborhood.
Workshops were advertised in a variety of locations, from grocery stores to laundromats, in numerous languages, from Spanish to Arabic. Childcare, food, and transportation to and from workshops were provided to support residential participation in engagement events.
Baker Ripley represents a transformative community project that empowered a low income, majority-immigrant neighborhood to navigate engagement processes, create leadership around their voices, and grow capacity for subsequent projects.
Baker Ripley created new facilities in an older apartment center to provide social services relevant to the community, such as law centers to assist residents with issues ranging from taxes to immigration, a business incubator, and a charter school. Redevelopment of the site also preserved several older oak trees, adding to the site's sustainability.
Baker Ripley is a project that responds to the needs and wants of the surrounding community, which is largely composed of immigrants from South and Central America and Southeast Asia. By listening to the desires of the community, an old apartment center was transformed into a facility that provides both culturally appropriate services and uses desired by the community.
As part of the plan, a charter school on site provides an outdoor nature playground and splash garden in addition to robust programming to serve youth from the neighborhood. Creating open space in Houston’s most densely populated neighborhood is a milestone to celebrate.