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November 23, 2017

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Joe Downtown: Miniature parks pop up in Las Vegas parking spots


Two booths, one for IBEW Local 357, left, and one for Downtown Project, right, in parking spots on Fremont Street in front of The Beat coffeehouse, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013.

Park(ing) Day

UNLV architecture students and faculty relax on their wood pallet-and-grass parabolic curve on Fremont Street directly south of the El Cortez, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. They are participating in the day-long Parks, Launch slideshow »

Fremont Street joined the international community today with a handful of parking spots being turned into daylong parks as part of the second annual worldwide Park(ing) Day.

Park(ing) Day began in 2012, reaching 162 cities in 35 countries. Essentially, it’s a means for artists, designers and others to “transform parking spots into temporary public parks,” as the event’s website states.

Downtown earlier today, four groups set up camp: Downtown Project, UNLV’s School of Architecture — Downtown Design Center, Work In Progress and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357.

“We’ve been part of the community since 1931, and we’re just creating space for people to play board games, see some plants, put their feet up on some real (fake) grass for the day and have fun,” said IBEW’s Richard Work, business development representative.

Next to the IBEW’s park on Fremont at 6th Street was the park set up by Downtown Project, the $350 million private downtown redevelopment agency.

The Project’s Krissee Danger said people can stop by to grab a neighborhood map and information about “DTP” and events this week and throughout the year.

Kitty-corner from those two was the UNLV park, which is a parabolic curve made out of wood from pallets and an undercarriage designed and cut using a computer control system.

Interspersed among the wood were patches of grass.

Assistant Professor Jonathon Anderson said idea was to convey the natural element commonly associated with parks, an idea created and completed by five students over three weeks.

“The palette is the synthetic element that’s brought in, makes up the landscape and is connected to the natural landscape, the grass,” he said.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown; he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

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