PURPOSE: To increase the supply of park space by quickly reclaiming undertutilized parcels of vacant land and parking lots. Includes pop-up parks, parcels, parkmobiles.
LEADERS: Activists, Artists, City Departments, Business Improvement Districts, Neighborhood Organizations
SCALE: Lot || Block
FACT: Miami’s Grand Central Park is a five-acre park that was built in 30 days.
While it’s exciting that the tactic of PARK(ing) Day has led to the development of parklets and pavement to plazas programs, larger public spaces are still needed in many urban neighborhoods. A new response to this challenge is the tactic of park-making, which utilizes the techniques of PARK(ing) Day and deploys them at a larger scale. In Miami, FL, local activists are partnering with private sector companies and government entities to transform some of the city’s most overlooked opportunity sites into sizeable parks.
The 5-acre Grand Central Park, pictured at left, is the brainchild of the Miami’s most notorious Weed Bomber, Brad Knoefler (see pgs 36-37). Knoefler, and his colleagues at the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association (OPRA) took it upon themselves to transform the former Miami Arena site into a much needed park space. After securing a local grant, OPRA procured pro bono landscape design services and signed a multi-year lease with the property owner. Fees generated from programmed events, concerts, and food vendors will sustain the maintenance of the park and pay the lease obligation. Built in early 2012, and in just 30 days, the park has already been a huge success.
Building on this model is Bayfront Parkway, a one-week installation led by Street Plans and the engineering firm C3TS. While several a downtown plans have called for transforming Biscayne Boulevard’s median parking lots into a green doorstep for downtown Miami, action has never been taken...until now. At the time of publication, the one-block park intervention is currently underway and generating support from stakeholders to follow through with the long-term park plan.