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San Diego seeking design for 'parklet' through competition

A competition to foster the design and construction of a "mobile parklet" has been announced by the city of San Diego and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

Parklets, a space for public use in relatively tight areas, such as an extension on a portion of sidewalk, are envisioned by some to be a new approach in the use of public space in crowded urban environments and can serve as rest areas along streets that hadn't previously been designed for anything but driving and walking. A mobile parklet is one that be easily moved around a city to create a "pop-up" public space as needed.

The contest created by the city and the Downtown San Diego Partnership is offering a $5,000 prize to a winning parklet design team, which would then construct its parklet for the city. According to the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the “moving parklet” is part of the organization’s larger urban place-making initiative. That initiative aims to transform public spaces throughout downtown San Diego into lively, engaging areas.

“When space is at a premium, you have to be smart and creative,” Kris Michell, president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, said. “This is what this moving parklet competition is all about: finding new ways to use public spaces to bring our community together. I can’t wait to see what people come up with.”

Additional information about the competition and submission rules are available at downtownsandiego.org/movingparklet. The deadline for entries in the contest is Aug. 25 at 5 p.m.; a winner will be announced Sept. 1. The city expects to unveil the winning parklet on Sept. 19, as part of PARK(ing) Day, an international event that encourages people to temporarily transform parking spaces into mini-parks.

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