Cook Park Shortlisted for Global Sustainability Award

Atlanta’s Rodney Cook Sr. Park, already recognized with multiple awards for its innovations and engineering achievements, has received additional acclaim specifically for its sustainable features.

The project has been shortlisted for the 2022 Projects Awards presented by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).

Earlier, Cook Park received the 2022 Innovation in Sustainable Civil Engineering Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

The annual FIDIC awards showcase the achievements of consulting engineering member firms and their clients across the globe and the impact their projects have on social, economic and environmental quality of life.

The international shortlist includes 28 projects from China, the United States, Australia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, France, India, Mongolia, Somalia and Vietnam. The awards will be announced at a gala dinner and awards ceremony Sept. 12 in Geneva, Switzerland. China had 12 projects selected, followed by the U.S. with seven.

Cook Park qualified for the FIDIC recognition by winning the 2022 ACEC National Engineering Excellence Grand Award as one of the top 16 projects in the United States. At the international level, projects are judged on multiple factors: quality of the design and construction, positive economic impact, how the project addresses environmental and social safeguards, sustainability, benefits and impacts on society, climate change effects and advancement of 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including good health/well-being, clean water/sanitation, reduced inequality, and partnerships to achieve the goal.

ASCE’s Civil Engineering website also highlighted the project, citing features including these:

  • Beautiful and functional rain gardens filter storm flow from incoming pipes.
  • Stormwater planters line the streetscape edge (to capture runoff from the neighborhood streets).
  • Constructed wetlands and native plantings surround the wet pond to enhance water quality.

Located in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood, Cook Park — a collaboration of the City of Atlanta, The Trust for Public Land, community residents and other partners — combines innovative engineering features with acres of recreational amenities. Centered on multiple green infrastructure elements, the park provides a vibrant green space and doubles as a watershed management tool. It alleviates persistent flooding in the neighborhood by capturing and storing up to 10 million gallons of stormwater and improving water quality downstream.

Freese and Nichols, hired by Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management, led design of the stormwater features. Before designing the central detention pond and surrounding features, the team developed a stormwater master plan for the 150-acre watershed, including a phased approach for implementation.

HDR, hired by The Trust for Public Land, led design of the park and recreational elements.