Project: Proposal for a Public Space Network to occupy vacant storefronts
Due to a mix of rising rents, e-commerce shopping, and other factors, there has been an increase in the number of vacant storefronts in downtown shopping districts, negatively impacting the vitality of these neighborhoods. RESTORE proposes to repair and re-energize streetscapes through a network of temporary public spaces that occupy these storefronts and provide public amenities to the community. Branded as interior parklets, these activated storefronts are defined by an eye-catching partition with biophilic graphics that serves as a backdrop to the space, houses services and storage, and separates approximately 700 square feet of public space from the remainder of the footprint which is to be kept secure. To support brand recognition, each RESTORE space is outfitted with a modular furniture package that can be arranged to enable a wide range of use cases. As a network, this “de-centralized” approach allows each location to evolve in different ways while still being easily recognizable as an urban amenity. Envisioned as a service that landlords can purchase, RESTORE is open for drop-in during regular hours, available to rent during specified times, and access controlled through user membership that provides QR code keys obtained via an on-line portal that also provides location, hours, and event schedules for the community.