Pequeños parques móviles y flexibles en San Francisco : la creatividad al servicio del medio ambiente y mejoras en la calidad de vida en las Metrópolis.

Artículo del María Laganda en el LA Times. 

Tiny parks are on a roll in San Francisco

Two dumpsters full of greenery, with four more to come, add a bit of nature to the streets of a paved-over downtown neighborhood. Some scoff, but others are willing to give the ‘parkmobiles’ a go.

September 2, 2011

Reporting from San Francisco – The greatest park in San Francisco arguably is Golden Gate — 1,017 sweeping acres studded with playgrounds and windmills, lakes and museums, a Shakespeare garden, a brew pub and its very own herd of bison.

No one could argue thatthe latest green spaces to grace The City are a far more modest proposal. The two bright-red dumpsters, 16 feet long by nearly 6 feet wide and filled with greenery, have been placed in a busy downtown neighborhood where they throw a little shade, elicit regular double-takes and fill curbside spots that otherwise would go to cars.

The grandly named “parkmobiles” were rolled out earlier this summer, the first in a fleet of itinerant oases in one of America’s densest cities.

“The more crowded a city is, the more new ideas come squeezing out of the ferment in a combination of need and opportunity,” said Peter Harnik, director of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land. “New York and San Francisco are two of the most innovative places.”

In the last two years, San Francisco — 17,505 people per square mile, compared with Los Angeles’ 8,087 — has seen a proliferation of tiny parks carved out along sidewalks and streets. They have become progressively smaller: from plazas and promenades to parklets and now parkmobiles.

When parking spots began turning into parkland, retailers and drivers groused: “So where do we put the cars?” Those who advocate for more green space in the city worried that the miniatures would replace traditional parks. Even former Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. got into the fray, deriding in a recent newspaper column the “overgrown flower boxes” that he said were a magnet for the homeless.

“The first one I came across had obviously been used as a bathroom,” Hizzoner carped. “The second one I visited, a guy and gal were ‘socializing’ in the bushes.”

But proponents argue that even the tiniest of green spaces squirt a little nature into miles of otherwise unfriendly concrete, particularly in a city where only a fraction of the downtown is open space and 70% of the streets are dedicated to private vehicles.

So what do San Franciscans, those pavement pounders who actually have a parkmobile in their own patch of the public realm, think of the beautification effort?

It depends entirely on the day.



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