Sunday, October 30, 2011

Parking Lot Section Now Watershed-Friendly Public Art

Author's Photo

Imagine my surprise when I was wandering around Long Beach one day and ran into the coolest surface parking lot I think I've ever seen. As you can see above, this bizarre specimen turned warn out car parts into the centerpiece of an eye-catching piece of public art. Look at the ground. It's dirt. That means water can percolate down and recharge the groundwater instead of running off and causing pollution. Look at the bike racks. You sure can fit a lot of them in a tiny amount of space.

Do I dare call this a park? You can't see it in the photo, but the open car doors are benches. Neat!

This is the kind of thing that makes walking more fun. Cities are at their best when they're constantly surprising and delighting. It also shows what can happen when even a tiny amount of the land we use for parking is re-purposed. This space once was and easily still could be just another oil-stained piece of asphalt supporting an unsustainable transportation system.

Check it out if you're in the LBC. It's at Cherry and 4th, and steps away from the Art Theater, a single-screen gem that shows a lot of old and weird movies.

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