The Belgian city of Ghent celebrated summer with a lush twist this year, by transforming some streets into pop-up parks conceived by Lab of Troy. For ten weeks, the city turned 22 streets into green public places where locals could leisurely wile away the summer. Traffic lanes and parking spots were taken over by plants, AstroTurf and picnic tables, giving Ghent a relaxing glimpse of a sustainable future.
Ghent’s “Living Street” program invited locals to have a beer, sit with friends, or play with their kids in areas usually reserved for traffic jams. Each of the traffic ways and intersections chosen for the project were given a backyard party treatment. Green turf was rolled out, banners hung, and picnic tables (complete with gingham table cloths) lined up in anticipation of roving picnickers. The 22 areas, which for 42 weeks of the year are places of continual traffic, instead became places for reconnecting with neighbors, friends and family. Rather than speeding through life, Living Street asked Ghent locals to take time for themselves, and to enjoy the city and summer weather.
Living Streets started in 2013, and has expanded each year to reclaim more and more areas from cars. Dreamed up by Lab of Troy, the growing experiment challenges the city to reimagine a life with less of a dependency on cars. Lab of Troy hopes that the successful presence of Living Streets each year will inspire city officials to switch to more sustainable city planning — replacing car lanes with pedestrian walkways, bike lanes and public transit.
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via Fast Go Exist