Don't call it Astro-Turf!

I just LOVE this Washington Post article about Silver Spring, MD, where an innovative Public Works and Transportation employee suggested putting in a temporary grass surface over the site of a demolished parking lot so that people could use space instead of letting it lie fallow. According to the article, it's a tremendous success! I'm pretty sure that the original parking garage was strategically sited there, because it is in a central location in the middle of diverse activity. Now it's a park - what a great swap.

Next spring, when County officials may decide to seed the space with real grass, they'll peel off the artificial grass and try it out on other parking lots that aren't getting much use. Fantastic.

My office got a lot of fire for proposing the same type of solution for Occidental Park in Seattle as just one of many short-term solutions. We recommended a temporary surface that could be easily dressed up as a fun public space so people could imagine what having a good, functional park would be like in its historical downtown area. (It has been mostly taken over by homeless people witnessed during my visit there). It didn't have to be Astro-Turf, but we thought that the fake green grass and its fun texture would be great as a temporary installation.

Well. Never mind. People just hated the idea, however temporary. This just makes me all the more appreciative of the risk-taking and ingenuity of Silver Spring, MD.

Thanks Patee!


aaron said...

every sunday i play softball on an old asphalt lot that was covered last year in turf down on columbia street and atlantic avenue in brooklyn. the stuff is great. so much better than playing on the pavement. everyone in the league seems to like it better. it's a great solution...