MERIDEN — The transformation of a barren downtown parcel to the Meriden Green has been recognized by several organizations since the park opened to the public last fall, but the latest honor ranks it among the “newest and grandest” public spaces in the country along with projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland and New York. a publication that caters to architects, designers, and developers, published an article earlier this month ranking the Meriden Green with revitalization projects in some of the country’s biggest cities.“Cities looking to repurpose defunct mall sites can take a pointer or two from a city in Connecticut,” the article reads, referring to Meriden. Other projects recognized include a redesigned plaza in New York City that features a 42,000-square-foot pedestrian-oriented streetscape; a 10-acre downtown park in Cleveland; a state park in a historic area of Los Angeles; the third phase of Chicago’s downtown riverfront redevelopment; and Chicago’s redeveloped Navy Pier.The $14 million downtown Meriden Green, engineered by Milone & MacBroom Inc., repurposed the Meriden Hub, which had been barren for years after it was demolished. Just four years ago, the 14.4-acre property contained a bank, a small community garden and decaying remnants of the mall. The property now serves as a community space that houses an amphitheater and hosts events weekly.Harbor Brook, which was enclosed in the late 1960s, is now uncovered and runs through the center of the Meriden Green. The park also acts as a basin to prevent flooding in the downtown area. Since the 1860s, the city has been hit with a 100-year flood a total of 11 times. The most recent flood, in 1996, caused $12 million in damage downtown. The one before that, in 1992, caused $14 million in damage, and was heavy enough to submerge vehicles and street signs in some parts of the downtown. This historic flooding has largely been caused by an overflowing Harbor Brook swollen with rainwater. The Meriden Green project utilized federal brownfield cleanup, flood control grants, and state and local transportation funding. Meriden-based LaRosa Construction Co. served as the project’s general manager.“It was an expensive ($14 million) and extensive overhaul, but is one that has brought back green space to the community,” notes The Architects Newspaper.Other accolades for the Meriden Green include a Distinguished Service Award from the Connecticut Association of Street and Highway Officials; A Celebrate Connecticut Award from the Connecticut Economic Resource Center; a 2017 Water Resources ACE Award from the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers; a 2017 CT Main Street Catalyst Award from Connecticut Main Street Center; and a 2017 Greencircle Sustainability Award from the Hartford Business Journal and state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.Engineers Milone & McBroom, and contractor LaRosa Construction, have won awards from the Connecticut Association of Landscape Architects and American Society of Civil Engineers.