The asphalt jungle, revisited
Two projects in San Francisco are turning underused and unsightly public spaces into green urban gardens and meeting places. Pavement to Parks, a program run by the city’s Planning Department, converts wasted street space and rights-of-way into plazas and parks. Taking a cue from the success of similar projects in New York City, specifically its Green Light for Midtown program, San Francisco has opened three parks and hopes to develop nine more by 2010. The parks are meant to be temporary, cheap and easily moveable; designers are encouraged to use reclaimed and recycled materials; and community residents are invited to volunteer.
PlantSF encourages community members to develop permeable landscaping projects for the sidewalks abutting their properties, to reduce stormwater runoff and to reintroduce native plants to the urban landscape. After seeking approval for sidewalk landscaping permits from the city, residents can have concrete removed, lay down soil and develop planting projects.
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