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September 27, 2020

Colorful social distancing squares coming to Austin parks

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Some of Austin’s most popular parks will get a clever intervention designed to promote social distancing.

Green spaces at Roy Guerrero Colorado River Park, Pease Park, Republic Square, and Zilker Park will soon sport colorful grids of social distancing squares, demarcating the distance recommended by the CDC and allowing people to navigate and enjoy outdoor spaces.

Concept rendering for Republic Square Parkspace project Courtesy Austin Foundation for Architecture.
Concept rendering for Republic Square Parkspace project Courtesy Austin Foundation for Architecture.

Architects and designers working on behalf of the Austin Foundation for Architecture have created a different color palette for each park based on Central Texas flowers including bluebonnets, lantana and prickly pear cactus blooms.

Painted with eco-friendly turf paint, the eight-foot-square boxes — each six feet apart from one another — will be completed by the July 4th weekend. Future sites in parks across Austin are planned.



As the coronavirus pandemic continues, some clever ways of marking social distancing parameters have emerged. Parks in San Francisco and New York recently started featuring lawn circles.

The Austin project, called Parkspace, is led by the Austin Foundation for Architecture with support from AIA Austin, and in partnership with Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, the Pease Park Conservancy, and the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation.

Concept rendering for Zilker Park Parkspace project Courtesy Austin Foundation for Architecture.
Concept rendering for Zilker Park Parkspace project Courtesy Austin Foundation for Architecture.

“Creative placemaking is a communal experience and Parkspace is an installation for our times; a new way to be together, apart,” said Mayor Steve Adler in a press release.

“We could not be more excited to be part of this important, timely, relevant, and necessary project,” said Ingrid Spencer, executive director for the Austin Foundation for Architecture and AIA Austin. “Parkspace boldly weaves the elements of an architectural landscaping intervention and a social distancing awareness campaign into one exciting public outdoor experience.”

Concept rendering for Pease Park Parkspace project Courtesy Austin Foundation for Architecture.
Concept rendering for Pease Park Parkspace project Courtesy Austin Foundation for Architecture.

 


Jeanne Claire van Ryzin
Jeanne Claire van Ryzinhttps://sightlinesmag.org
An award-winning arts journalist, Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the founder and editor-in-chief of Sightlines.

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