Connecting with Nature in an Urban Environment

by Mike Van Houten / Jul 15, 2015

Here in Reno, we often don't look toward our neighbors in the South for great redevelopment ideas...not that Vegas is a bad influence, it's just, that city is headed in a different direction than Reno.

But here's one project out of Las Vegas that I hope Reno emulates.

The Nature Conservancy collaborated with Downtown Project, Iowa State University and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas designers to build a 120-square-foot parklet in Las Vegas. The parklet—a tiny intervention called "The Waiting Game" in the downtown district—is a public place for relaxation and enjoyment that transforms a parking space at 180 South 6th Street, near Carson Avenue, into a slice of public urban space where people can come into contact with nature through the parklet’s plantings, have a picnic, play a game, and learn about nearby natural areas and wildlife through concrete engravings. Learn about this project, and join a conversation about how to do more of this kind of innovative place-based creative expression in Reno.

WHERE: Nevada Museum of Art, 160 West Liberty Street, Reno

WHEN: This Friday, at 12:00 pm

TICKETS: Click here

Let's take a look at some of the cooler parkletts I found on the web:

A parklet in San Francisco

A portable parklet in North Beach.

Do you think parklets would work in downtown Reno and Midtown, or is street parking too hot a commodity to give up for even temporary park space?

Post your comments
  • July 15, 2015 - 11:11:06 AM

    Nevada City, CA has one that takes up multiple spots. It makes driving that street a pain, but I think it really adds something, despite the many criticism it has received over the years.

  • July 15, 2015 - 3:11:28 PM

    Thanks, Mike, for sharing this information. Hope you can make it.

  • July 16, 2015 - 8:08:23 AM

    Those spots look inviting and add to the appearance of the block. My home town in southern California tried to do something like that , too. A problem popped up: the unfortunate homeless folks started to sleep on the benches, parking their shopping carts containing their belongings in the area. Then they put up plastic tarps for shade. If police gently move them out, others soon fill-in the spaces. So the City put arm rails into the benches to prevent people from reclining on the bench. That helped some, but they still became hang-out spots for the homeless. Last time I looked, those spots were taken down. I think it is a positive idea and maybe it would work in Reno, but the above is something to consider before implementing it. Maybe improving homeless shelters elsewhere concurrently would help make it work. I'm not trying to dump on a good idea, just sharing with readers our experience with something like this.

  • July 18, 2015 - 7:38:44 AM

    I think this would work in some of those vacant lots downtown. Near the ballpark, on E. 4th street, 6th street.

  • August 7, 2015 - 2:31:51 PM

    We need more parks! Parkersburg are a great idea too! Wouldn't the Park Lane mall lot make a wonderful park?