Look what’s popping up

Parks are popping up in Chicago, Surrey (BC, Canada), NYC, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Dallas, Yarraville (Australia), San Francisco and Minneapolis.

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What about your city – are you seeing some new green spaces this summer?

One of the great urban trends of recent years is pop-up parks. They have been happening in San Francisco since 2005. New York has created a number of them – and some of the temporary parks and plazas have been so popular that they are now permanent.

Whimsical, practical, carefully planned or just plain crazy, pop-up parks are a sign of vitality in urban spaces. What we like best is those projects that originate with, or have a very strong input from, citizens on the street. Kids. Seniors. Young adults. Business people. Unemployed folks.

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In our quest for great urban planning, we sometimes stray too far towards planning and too far away from community. Pop-up parks and other quick-and-dirty pilot projects (seasonal urban gardens, temporary lane closures, parking-lot-to-playground conversions, street events) pump energy and ideas into a city. We need to test and retest those ideas, in practical ways.

So what’s happening in your city this summer?

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