Residents traveling through Downtown Gainesville passed by in amazement when they saw a park full of plants and people sitting on benches near the side of the road.
The UF Student Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (SCASLA) transformed three metered parking spaces into a temporary park to celebrate PARK Day, a global event aiming to recognize the need for more urban open spaces.
“This was the first PARK(ing) Day to take place in Gainesville, and I expected a lot of confused faces,” said Daniel Rodriguez, a third-year landscape architecture student and social chair of UF SCASLA. “…But the public’s response to the park was always a huge smile, laughter and eyes swelling with amazement that people were willing to make such a bold statement in a space designed for cars. In all, an area that would’ve normally served 5-8 people per day, served the needs of 100.”
The SCASLA collaborated with several local organizations and businesses, such as the Students for the New Urbanism at UF, The Repurpose Project and Garden Gate Nursery. They also coordinated with the Florida Community Design Center and Pop GNV to create the “pop-up parks” around town.