Hey Atlanta/Savannah: Creating Urban Life on the Street, Easy

Actually, I dreamed of this for Peachtree Street before the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games, but my dreams stayed in my head, oh well.

Long Beach, California has turned a parking lot into interesting urban space. They have a new public plaza—and can have many more—because a few people said, “Why don’t we do that here?”

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Brian Ulaszewski, a writer on urban planning for the Long Beach Post, and founder a nonprofit design studio City Fabrick, has partnered with the City of Long Beach and others to develop Park[d] Plaza in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach California. Long Beach is rich with parking lots and poor with parks and public squares (hello, Atlanta?).  They created a 2,250-square-foot public space from part of a parking lot.

San Francisco inspired the idea by their annual event Park[ing] Day to “shed light on how much space is used to park cars and how little is being used for people.”  Gaining community patnerships gave then enough money, paint, and furnishings to create an intersting public space, animated by daily food trucks.

I have envisioned the use of shipping containers as pop up shops and art galleries to further define the street and create a division between the plaza and parking areas. With careful design, parking spaces may not even be reduced.

This is a great concept to make streets in Atlanta, Broughton St in Savannah, and cities/towns all over Georgia– more urban, inspiring, and people oriented. The car has ruled our lives for too long!  These ideas add life to streets and people spaces to draw customers. Get into the groove!

For more info check out: http://la.curbed.com/archives/2012/01/3_new_pedestal_parklets_coming_to_long_beach_businesses.php

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a San Franciso parking respite
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Restaurant seating in a parking space
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a mini park created in a parking space
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an art installation which teaches about plastics recycling

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