T-shirts tossed out at sporting events seem like a fun idea. The thrill of catching a free article of clothing from your favorite team’s mascot is only dampened when you try on the “One Size Fits All” shirt and it hits you at your knees or your navel. An important principle of place-making is much the same in that one plan doesn’t fit all, especially when considering shared community space.
Many parts of Los Angeles do not have enough park space where people can find respite in its glorious sunshine. Efforts are being made to procure more acreage to build parks full of grassy playgrounds and tree shaded benches, but empty square footage is at a premium. One proposal, The Hollywood Central Park, plans to build over the below grade stretches of the 101 Freeway creating one of the largest parks in the city (check out the design at hollywoodcentralpark.org).
If building a park above traffic weren’t innovative enough, People St, a project of the City of Los Angeles, is turning traffic and parking lanes into mini parks, aka “parklets”. Neighborhoods inventory their “open space”, looking at streets creatively to uncover nooks and crannies that are better suited as gathering spaces rather than parking spaces. The Triangle Square Park in Silverlake hosts a weekly farmers market while the York Boulevard Parklet in Highland Park provides seating near local businesses.
Neighborhood parks are a fun idea made even more thrilling when they fit perfectly into the landscape.
Further Reading: An Alley Runs Through it
Angela Babcock works to make neighborhoods better through engaging all stakeholders and solving problems. She assists those who most could use a helping hand and celebrates community resilience. Check her out on LinkedIn.