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san antonio park(ing) day brings the plaza to the people!

posted
10.19.17
author
Catherine Saunders
category
environment

What a great success for both highlighting the importance of urban green space and the role landscape architects play in championing such vital spaces for us as humans!

Our location for Park(ing) Day 2017 in San Antonio was perfect — directly in front of City Hall, which had a steady flow of pedestrian traffic, from city staff and politicians, along with both tourists and locals. It was great to have people stop by, wondering why all of a sudden they saw an installation of plants, art, and fun in their normal route, which then gave us the opportunity to further discuss current issues (and solutions) around our city.

To set the stage, earlier this year TBG teamed with Creo Architects to participate in an AIA-sponsored design competition (the vision of Councilman Trevino and Gordon Hartman) of having a truly accessible entry to our City Hall (if you are physically handicapped, the entry sequence is currently a sad state of going to the back of the building and buzzing someone to let you in through the basement). Our submission focused on celebrating the route to the front door as well as creating a pedestrian focused plaza connecting City Hall to Main Plaza and the River.

Park(ing) Day was a great way to see that vision, in a temporary way, begin to take shape and the impact it could have on our city for the long term. Our “nature” bar, built with locally collected, repurposed and hand massaged materials, brought focus on how a simple transformation of an otherwise barren and unwelcoming strip of asphalt, could bring such a positive community atmosphere. Having our local ASLA chapter, along with both Lake|Flato and LPA bring their own energy and creativity to the street helped expand the momentum that much more.

We probably already have the location for next year set too, as a Bexar county architect was so pleased with the success that he offered up their street right around the block. Cheers to urban nature.