One of the fastest growing neighborhood’s in Washington, DC is in the Navy Yard area.  It’s known locally as Yards Park and is close to the stadiums for the Nationals and DC United.  The restaurants and shops are good to visit but the public spaces are what brings this area to life.

There are wading pools, tiered grass steps, several pedestrian bridges, public art, and numerous types of places to sit.  Individuals and groups alike can find a place to relax, celebrate, or simply be alone.  At night, these outdoor spaces transform as the landscape lights are turned on.

The developers and designers could have chosen not to invest in the spaces between the buildings and various shops.  Without them it would be a very different place and people would likely just opt to move on once they finish dinner at a restaurant.  There wouldn’t be much of a reason to hang around.

The public spaces define the culture of Yards Park.  It sets this area apart from others that are developing in the area and continues to bring people in regardless of the time of day or year. The spaces make the area unique.

Businesses and organizations struggle with the same problem–standing out from the competition for the time and money of people.  What are you doing to set your business or organization apart from the competition?

Yards Park has managed this well by creating amazing public spaces.  Are you offering better service or products?  What are you doing to stand out?

[Photo:  A bench at Yards Park at night.]

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