Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair – 2020 ULI Urban Open Space Awards Finalist

With lighting and watchful parents, kids can play into the night! Photo Credit: Billy Hustace Photography

Location: San Antonio, Texas, United States
Owners: Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Corporation; City of San Antonio
Designer: MIG, Inc.
Additional Team Members: JOERIS General Contractors; HDR, Inc.; Bender Wells Clark Design; CNG Engineering, PLLC; Duende Design Architects, Inc.; Intelligent Engineering Services; Oscar Alvarado; City of San Antonio Public Works; Ximenes & Associates, Inc.; Overland Partners
Site Size: 4.1 acres (1.7 hectares)
Number of People Served (within a half-mile): 2,700,000
Opened: October 2, 2015
Website: www.hemisfair.org



Families play ping pong in the Games Plaza. Photo Credit: Billy Hustace Photography
Evening strollers activate the area. Photo Credit: HPARC











Named for the river of “refreshing waters” along which the Payaya tribe built its seasonal villages, Yanaguana Garden at Hemisfair is a 4.1-acre community gathering place in the heart of downtown San Antonio. Yanaguana Garden is the first implementation phase of the Hemisfair Park Area Redevelopment Master Plan and has hosted 2.7 million park visitors since opening in October 2015. Located within the former 1968 World’s Fair site, Yanaguana Garden treats visitors to rich and diverse experiences informed and inspired by the history, environment and constantly evolving arts and culture of San Antonio. A trellis-covered central promenade connects a series of flexible outdoor spaces that accommodate and encourage a variety of programmed and impromptu activities from morning to night. One of the key design goals was to highlight “play” as a universal language and create an equitable space that would welcome, engage, and challenge all children, families, and individuals—regardless of cultural heritage, socioeconomic status, age, or physical ability. As an economic catalyst, Yanaguana Garden has contributed to a 182% increase in median property tax revenue in the surrounding census tracts from 2013 to 2017, compared to 8% for Bexar County as a whole.

Artful seating reflects local myths and legends. Photo Credit: Billy Hustace Photography
Yanaguana encourages interaction between previously unacquainted visitors. Photo Credit: Billy Hustace Photography

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