Innovation That Matters

In Argentina, pop-up recreational spaces transform closed streets

Work & Lifestyle

Most city-dwellers are aware of the benefits of having a communal urban space to relax, unwind and socialize in. However, for many, such spaces simply don’t exist in their local vicinity. For those in Buenos Aires, innovations such as Designo Patagonia’s Plaza Movil will soon be providing a pop-up alternative. The Plaza Movil — designed by Manuel Rapoport — will make use of Buenos Aires’ streets during weekends and public holidays by converting them into communal recreational spaces. By closing off these streets to motorists and installing portable playground equipment and seating, the spaces will be fit for members of the community of all ages to come to relax or play. What’s more, all the installed equipment and seating can be transported by van to other areas lacking parks, playgrounds or public squares. The initiative recently won second place at the Philips Livable Cities Awards, earning EUR 25,000 to put towards the production of a prototype. The Philips website notes, “Just by simply encouraging interaction between varying members of the community, the scheme will build stronger relationships across all levels of society.” In Buenos Aires, where there is often poor transport and flooding problems, the Plaza Movil will provide much needed social community spaces. Of course, Buenos Aires is not the only place to face such problems, so this could be an idea ripe for exporting to your own locality. It’s inspiring to see the pop-up model being put to work for a social cause. (Related: Urban amusement parkUrban bike stations.)



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