23 September 2009

Pavement to Parks

In Austin, as in many cities apparently, there's a ton of asphalted, concreted space just sitting around in a "land bank." It happens when people buy up land, destroy what was there before, and it sits there waiting for a better time in real estate. For an example in Austin, just go look at the very sad concrete pad that used to be the vibrant and much-loved Las Manitas.

Allison Arieff has a great article on this today in the New York Times.

She also opened my eyes to this amazing movement in San Francisco and elsewhere to convert Pavement to Parks.

This is so incredibly cool. Check out this crazy little park in the Castro District in San Fran that was made just by throwing down a few planters and chairs, right in the middle of a dangerous street.

Now the space is full of people sitting around, playing music, and generally engaging in urban cultural activities.

With a little more creativity, these places can also become temporary home to pretty serious gardens that can be grown in old trash bins and air conditioning vents that have been made to look really colorful and interesting.

WE NEED THIS IN AUSTIN. My newest inspiration.


greg c said...

I talked to the owners of Corona Cafe about talking to the owner of their building about looking into pulling up some pavement there and putting in trees. I dropped it after Windsor Park didn't get picked for free trees this year. I think that's a good opportunity for a little nudge in the right direction.

Lee said...

where's corona cafe?

Lancashire rose said...

I really miss that aspect of outdoor life. In the town I come from the main street, which has a very wide sidewalk has loads of outdoor seating outside coffee shops and there are benches everywhere. i understand that here insurance is the problem for outdoor seating.

greg c said...

In the little strip where Nomad is, at Corona and Cameron.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

The best example of pavement to park in Austin that I can think of is the wonderful Town Lake Park next to the Palmer Events Center in what used to be a parking lot and the old hangar Coliseum.