In recent years, cities have utilized the concept of “tactical urbanism” to enhance downtown neighborhoods with short-term, community-based projects like pop-up parks and street art campaigns.
Mike Lydon is an internationally recognized urban planner as well as a partner in the Street Plans Collaborative, a group aiming to reverse suburban sprawl through walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods.
Among other projects, the Cleveland organization has transformed parking spaces adjacent to the small-box stores into a pocket park.
The park, decorated with shipping pallets converted into funky furniture, will host mini-concerts and other events, and is designed to be enjoyed by residents, office workers and visitors alike.
The Gateway District group, meanwhile, has plans for a parklet and bike corral on Euclid Avenue that will repurpose parking spaces in front of several businesses and create a semi-enclosed respite for pedestrians.
In addition, the group is planning to build sidewalk parks throughout the neighborhood in areas where the pavement is especially wide, using a variety of seating types where people can sit and eat lunch.