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Release Date: Thursday, September 8th 2016

DOWNTOWNERS HAVE A NEW, MOBILE SHADY SPOT TO RELAX

And it’s made from a dumpster.

Downtown Pittsburgh – Finding a new spot to relax in the shade has gotten a little easier in Downtown Pittsburgh. A new Mobile Parklet has popped up on Fourth Avenue near One Oxford Centre. The parklet provides a bench to sit and relax that is beautifully surrounded by plants and trees.

Developed by Envision Downtown, a joint project of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the Office of the Mayor, the parklet idea came about as a way to address the challenge of developing new green space and rapidly implementing amenities for Downtown workers, residents and visitors. The parklet is made from a traditional dumpster that was modified to include seating and signage, and is of course, mobile.

According to Sean Luther, Executive Director of Envision Downtown, “This parklet is a strong demonstration of the impact of producing small projects quickly, creatively and efficiently. The resulting effect is an attractive, mobile park for all to enjoy.”

The parklet is an example of Envision’s focus on public life in Downtown Pittsburgh which includes a broader collaboration with the prestigious Gehl Studios. Other Envision projects include the Smithfield Street “Super Bus Stop” and the street mural project in Strawberry Way, which has proven to be another popular location for those Downtown to relax and enjoy the city. Additional pedestrian safety, accessibility and bicycle infrastructure projects are due out this fall.

The parklet project was of particular interest to Envision Downtown because it addresses three specific challenges:
1. Public seating is at a premium in the central businesses district, this provides an additional alternative in areas lacking seating
2. There are areas of Downtown where tree coverage is excellent and other spots where there is little to none, this allows trees and greenery to be placed nearly anywhere
3. The project also demonstrates the need to explore short term storm water mitigation efforts in the CBD

Funding for the project was provided by major supporters of Envision Downtown, including Heinz Endowments, Hillman Family Foundations, and Benter Foundation. The planting of the parklet was done by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, who will also maintain seasonal plantings in the parklet. The parklet will remain at its current location for several weeks, where it is not taking up any public parking spaces, it will then be moved to a location central to the upcoming Re:NEW Festival. Envision Downtown welcomes suggestions for other locations the parklet may visit.

About Envision Downtown
Envision Downtown is a public/private partnership between the Mayor's Office and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership formed to accelerate Downtown's economic growth and competitiveness. Envision's mission is to advance mobility and livability in Pittsburgh's central neighborhoods, by making it safer, more attractive and convenient for everyone to get to, through and around Downtown. The initiative leverages a team of committed civic leaders and a robust data development program to implement a series of short-term, accelerated infrastructure projects with the goal of informing longer-term transformation changes to the City's mobility networks.

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