Parasols, Slides and Succulents for Better Cities? SF says, 'Why Not?'

What do all these seemingly unrelated elements have in common? They were just a few of the creative ideas for improving the urban environment showcased at the recent Urban Prototyping Festival held in San Francisco.

"The city as it exists doesn't have to be the city we live in. These crazy projects could reinvent the urban landscape--and make it a little more fun," writes Ariel Schwartz.

She's referring to the Urban Prototyping Festival, which brings together "performances, food and expert speakers," while focusing on the future of urban innovation. According to the event website, "urban prototyping" is defined as "a global movement exploring how participatory design, art and technology can improve cities." All submissions are judged with the criteria of actual replication and adoption in mind.

This year, the festival "was held in the city's troubled yet evolving Central Market neighborhood", reports Schwartz, showcasing 18 out of the dozens of submissions made by "local residents [aiming] to make the urban environment more livable." Some of the more interesting submissions included "Pulse of the City" allowing passersby to "walk up and measure their pulse" and stress levels, says Allison Leahy. Another entry, "PPlanter", is "a urinal attached to garden spaces", which filters water through bamboo biofilters to water plants.

Another noteworthy example, the "10-Mile Garden", capitalizes on a loophole in San Francisco's law that prohibits parking in front of the city's 9,000 fire hydrants, but that doesn't explicitly state these areas need to be paved. The project, thus, proposes using succulents as a native plant to embellish and 'greenify' these otherwise drab grey areas scattered throughout the city. These are just a few of the many projects that were on display over the weekend, check out the slideshow accompanying the article to view more.

Full Story: Prototyping The Urban Environment With Garden Urinals And Staircase Slides

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes - New Cities Added!

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 9 different cities.
$22.00
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET