Park(ing) Day Recap
On Friday, September 20th, we celebrated Park(ing) Day in the Near Southside district of Fort Worth, one of the city’s most beloved and unique urban neighborhoods. Our parklet was located down the street from our office on Magnolia Avenue. TBG Fort Worth partnered with Bartlett Tree Experts who graciously provided us with over 300 tree saplings (of four different species) to give away. With trees in mind, we brainstormed how we could represent the life cycle of a tree in the parklet.
Running with our theme, Bartlett donated tree stumps and recycled palettes in addition to the tree saplings. Taking the tree stumps, we gave them a new life by painting the tops with fun vibrant colors to seat them throughout the parklet. To highlight the tree saplings, we pinned them to the palette walls to serve as an interactive way for the users to pick out trees. We advised visitors on which tree species would best suit their needs and sent them home with a tree guide. Although we were targeting the young ones, the arts and crafts activities attracted people of all ages. The arts and crafts table featured mini terracotta/biodegradable peat pots for visitors to enjoy painting and take home.
As a takeaway, we had a great time providing a people space for the community, that would have otherwise been inhabited by cars. As we successfully gave away a handful trees, it was a chance to educate the community on the growing importance of trees in the world we live in. Beyond the tree being a gift from us to them – the ultimate gift is that tree being planted. With patience and a little bit of love, sowing the sapling now will let a new generation reap the benefits and enjoy the shade.
TBG’s spin on Denver mobility gives insight into the future of multi-modal mobility nationwide. Park(ing) Day 2019 included a throwdown as TBGers made their way to Denver’s Park(ing) Day to compete in the Spin Spot Better Block Design Competition. The competition was supported by San Francisco-based dockless scooter provider, Spin, and Better Block, a Dallas-based urban design nonprofit. The competition featured 6 teams from San Francisco, Austin, Kansas City, New York, and Dallas – each of which were interviewed by jurors and tested and reviewed by the public. Competition interviews explored complexity of construction, budget and the ability of the design to achieve design intent.
Armed with a great design, Charge, Rest, Go!, the TBG Team arrived in Denver and hit the ground running – or spinning – as they brought their design to life with the help of University of Denver, INWORKS. INWORKS is an interdisciplinary innovation lab at the University of Denver Anschutz Medical Campus that fosters design thinking across academic disciplines and two University of Denver Campuses. The lab’s support of the Spin Spot Competition is an acknowledgement of the growing conflicts and complexities in urban design.
Recent growth in scooter and bike sharing modes give rise to conflicting uses and new considerations of street safety and rider experience. The Spin Spot Competition was established to provide communities with creative solutions to manage the growing number of multi-modal mobility options in cities throughout the country. Conveniently located across the street from the historic Paramount Theater at Glenarm Place and 16th Street, Charge, Rest, Go!, offered shaded seating for four, eight scooter charging stations and two bike stands. TBG’s Charge, Rest, Go! encouraged public engagement and discourse as visitors Charge scooters and phones on a solar powered docking stations, Rest under a canopied structure and Go forth via a dedicated launching pad with direct street access. TBG observations of Charge, Rest, Go! informed to what extent the design engaged the public and met design expectations. When the space was vacant the design was quickly populated and engaged to its fullest capacity.
Scooters and alternative modes of transportation are becoming a larger part of the pedestrian realm. According to Spin Spot representatives, scooters offer pedestrians a mobility option with lower social barriers. How cities balance convenience, safety and efficiency of both pedestrian and vehicular uses is addressed through urban design and planning. Although, TBG’s Charge, Rest, Go! did not take first prize – the competition and design itself, educated the public on how one parking space can transform and activate the pedestrian realm.