Every neighborhood has a distinct personality and distinct needs. Think creatively about open space in your community. Express its character while addressing real needs. Is the space going to be filled with hammocks? Or a public artwork rotation? Zumba classes or a dog-friendly park? How do your neighbors want to come together?
How do you want to see your neighborhood developing?”
Studies report an abundance of green space incentivizes physical activities, promotes relaxation, increases positive emotions and aids stress recovery. VPRN Research and Policy Brief No. One.
social space ideas
Get Out!! Recreation is critical to healthy lifestyle choices. Cities need diverse recreational opportunities to attract families and businesses. City parks are great resources, but they are not always convenient. Turn your vacant lot into a “pocket-park” which is managed by neighbors for the purposes they identify. A place for parents to relax while toddlers romp. A place for teenagers to gather safely. A place for people to socialize while their dogs play.
Multi-Use Green Space
Just planting grass on a vacant lot can increase the value of the home next door by 11 percent. Fencing and landscaping will increase the value even more. That reclaimed land also may make the home 30 percent more valuable than other homes on the block. Interviews of residents surrounding green and non-green lots in Philadelphia found the residents feel their neighborhood is safer after greening occurs.
Art/Urban Nature Park
Empty lots can be activated with color, creativity, and joyful artistic expression. Working with neighborhood groups, and/or non-profit organizations, artists can create original art experiences that enhance the livability of areas surrounding a formerly vacant site. These installations provide opportunities for families to walk down the street and experience or engage in art unexpectedly.