Collection by Aaron Britt

Powell St. Parklet


San Francisco's thriving Pavement to Parks initiative—dozens of street parking spaces have been transformed into small, hardscaped parks the city over—arrived on center stage Wednesday. After success outside scruffy Mission District coffee shops and pram-litered Noe Valley, some of the most iconic blocks of San Francisco are newly widened with torqued aluminum raling, drought-tolerant plants, and enough space for pedestrian-choked Powell Street to breathe. The cash came from Audi (more on that to follow) and the design from landscape architect Walter Hood. I walked the eight new parklets with Hood and metal fabricator Scott Atthowe when they were unveiled. Here's what I saw.

There are eight parklet sections over the two blocks of Powell St. just north of the famous cable car turnaround.
Here are Atthowe (left) and Hood (right) as we walked the stretch of Powell.
Right away Hood thrilled at seeing this guy across the street using one of the aluminum tables for his laptop.
There are a handful of different typologies for the eight sections. Here you can see one dominated by planters.
Hood told me that the design brief was to "express the ideas that Audi represents." The German auto manufacturer ponied...
Here you can see a bike locked to one of the barriers between a parklet and the street.
I quite liked the repetition of form on this bench on the east side of Powell St. Not only does it make for a rather...
Here's the only real Audi branding on the eight parklets. It's a plaque on one of the solar collectors.
One of my favorite elements of the design is that it narrows these blocks of Powell St. to just two lanes.
Here you can see pedestrians already embracing the design.

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