The Downtown Garden Stroll welcomes visitors to Main Street. Interactive and engaging, these eight pop-up parks are designed to be experienced and to promote activity and community.
Downtown Garden Stroll Year Three A Record Number of Parks Pop Up On Main Street
T LOOKING AT THE STREETSCAPE AS A BLANK CANVAS, ARTISTS CAN CREATE GREEN SPACE WHERE IT WOULDN’T NORMALLY EXIST.” -KRISTIN BECK DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE
downtown the magazine
he first signs of spring. For some, it’s a calendar date, such as the spring equinox or Mother’s Day or maybe the mercury hitting a particular temperature. Our proverbial thermometer is downtown’s blossom trees overflowing with fragrant, white flowers after the first sustained warm spell. The city’s sidewalk landscapes begin popping with color that extends to outdoor patios, leading to a swell of foot traffic around the city. For the third Spring in a row, the Downtown Garden Stroll welcomes visitors to Main Street with eight pop-up parks along the sidewalks. Interactive and engaging, these parks are designed to be experienced and to promote activity and community, allowing visitors to engage with their environment creatively. Many downtown visitors and office dwellers tend toward routine and are accustomed to spending their time inside without taking a moment to recognize some of the more delightful changes within their immediate environment. The parks are individually designed
by local artists, architecture students and other community members. This year, more than 20 renderings for these temporary parks were submitted for consideration, with the winning eight parks on display April 1. The parks will be available for public enjoyment, free of charge, through May 14. Wide streets and sidewalks present a challenge in urban planning, but the artists and visionaries behind the Garden Stroll, led by the Downtown Alliance’s director of urban activation, Kristin Beck, have chosen to instead re-imagine these expansive spaces. “Looking at the streetscape as a blank canvas, artists can create green space where it wouldn't normally exist,” Beck said. “Visitors, residents, office dwellers and nighttime revelers have an opportunity to discover and interact with the exciting potential of Main Street and downtown.” Another goal of the Downtown Garden Stroll is to expand on one of the premier urban gardens in the west at Temple Square (see page 13), and encourage visitors to explore neighboring blocks. I spring / summer 2017