Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pop-up Parks

Everybody likes a park. Lots of small parks throughout a city are even better.

In San Francisco’s Mission District a program called Pavement to Parks temporarily reclaims under-utilized roadways and transforms them into pop-up mini parks. The program is designed to inspire creativity and be good for the environment – all mini parks must be inexpensive to create and where possible use recyclable materials.

The latest addition to Pavement to Parks is this installation by artist Erik Otto, who used stuff he found at the city landfill in his park design. The park includes a house on a hillside and beanbags and planters all made from recycled materials.

There’s a bigger idea here too. The mini parks are intended to help people think about what sorts of long-term changes could or should be made to each space. Being able to touch and experience the park in real life lets town planners get valuable feedback from residents on what elements work and what they like. It’s consultation by participation, using revelation rather than information to create better communities.

On top of all that, I just like the idea that someone saw a park for cars and wondered why it couldn’t be the other kind. City planning with imagination. Nice.


Steve Bennett said...

I was in New York recently and took a Sunday morning walk down the "High Line" - a reclaimed rail track snaking through Manhatten which is now a long, but very narrow park. It was full of families and people just relaxing amongst the plants and art installations - quite fantastic.

Piotr Jakubowski said...

This seems like such a fantastic idea - can't believe that it isn't being employed in many of the world's countries today. Living in Jakarta right now, we could sure use a couple of parks in the neighborhood.