Pavements to Parks: Park(ing) Day, every day

People, Parklets, and Pavement to Parks (plus Mojo Bicycle Café) from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

This year’s Park(ing) Day (an annual event I covered a few years ago) has come and gone and was another great success. In fact, it looks like they’re still counting the number of temporary “parks” people created in parking spaces around the world. Of course, all of those green spaces are gone now, but wouldn’t it be nice if parking spaces were being converted into spots for permanent enjoyment of the outdoors?

Turns out, that’s happening in San Francisco. The Mayor’s Office, the Department of Public Works, the Planning Department and the Municipal Transportation Agency launched the Pavement to Parks initiative in 2009. Inspired both by Park(ing) Day and a similar event in New York City, the effort has already created nine spaces, including the very impressive Powell Street Promenade. The idea is relatively simple: identify stretches of street that are underused and turn them into something more appropriate for cyclists, pedestrians and businesses that might want to cater to such passersby.

Streetfilms, an organization dedicated to “Documenting Livable Streets Worldwide,” produced the short film above about one Pavement to Parks “parklet” project on Divisadero Street. Take a look and let us know about efforts in San Francisco, NYC, or other cities to turn space for cars into space for people.

via @GreenSmith


Image credit: Payton Chung at Flickr under a Creative Commons license