What Are Parklets?
Parklets are small urban parks, often created by replacing parking spots with sod, planters, trees, benches, café tables with chairs – maybe even artwork or bicycle parking. You will find several parklet installations at the conference to illustrate just what you can do in an 8’ x 20’ space. Learn what organizations are doing to enliven their communities and be inspired by simple ideas to increase the communal and vegetated spaces in our city’s streetscapes.
Urban Nature and Your Health: Take Two Trees and Call Me in the Morning!
Organization: US Forest Service
Our urban forests can provide cleaner air, decreased stress and anxiety, cooler summertime temperatures, reduced stormwater outflows, increased property values, reduced crime rates, and more livable communities. Learn more about these and other benefits provided by urban trees. Pick up maps for local self-guided walking tours. Hear about effective local volunteer groups that support urban and community trees. Meet Smokey Bear and Garry Oak (great photo opportunities!).
Trees and shrubs provided by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.
Park Your Thoughts
Organizations: Toole Design Group and City of Portland’s Urban Design Studio
A collaboration between Toole Design Group and the City of Portland’s Urban Design Studio, Park your Thoughts is a platform for exploring ideas related to the design of cities, streets, and open space. Expressed through the “Green Loop,” an innovative linear park and pathway concept emerging from the City of Portland’s proposed Central City 2035 plan, we invite you to come share your thoughts on the connection between mobility, economy, and the environment. Join the conversation by recording your thoughts and comments, snapping a photo, and using #ParkYourThoughts to interactively share ideas and reflections with your friends and colleagues. After, sit back, relax, and peruse some ‘top hits’ reading materials we’ve put together to help spark your imagination and turn your thoughts into actions.
The Speak-n-Play Parklet
Organizations: Robert Ping and the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute
Sponsored by Robert Ping and the WALC Institute, this will be the most interactive and fun parklet ever, featuring your own short speeches and musical performances! The Speak-n-Play Parklet will have a stage big enough for three people, with a microphone and tiny speaker, along with musical instruments for your use: acoustic guitars, small hand percussion, electronic keyboard, muted trumpet and more.
The Speak-n-Play Parklet will feature a sign-up chalkboard – sign up to speak or play for 3 minutes at a time during conference breaks and other open times. During breakout and plenary sessions, the Speak-n-Play stage will be closed.
Come give your “soon-to-be-TED-talk-famous” soapbox speech, show off your guitar playing skills, sing a bicycle-themed song, play a dazzling egg shaker solo, or just tell a story! All are welcome, and beginners who have never performed in public will be given extra special treatment and positive support.
Organizations: GreaterPlaces and DOTankDC
GreaterPlaces and DOTankDC are hosting game lab – a hangout dedicated to game design and game hacking for community development. We will present information on how to develop games for civic engagement and produce a crowdsourced, placemaking game board. From the team that brought you Cards Against Urbanity.
PlaceMatters brings design to engaging diverse populations with our tactical-urbanism parklet. Test out pop-up design for bikes and pedestrians, and learn how they are connected the larger engagement process. We will demonstrate how to use QR codes to create a broader virtual community. Dive into finding design solutions using only found objects with “City as Play,” a technique developed by James Rojas. You can also use this parklet’s interactive screen to explore online for scenario planning and public engagement. The QR code will lead to information on the mapping and walkshop activities at the conference. QR logos will also be placed along the path of the PlaceMatters-NCI walking tour on Friday afternoon (Tour 9). Participants will use their mobile devices to enter information on connections and mobility.