Urbanism: Two Dallas Teams’ Designs Make Finals of Denver Scooter ‘Parklet’ Competition

Dallas-based urbanism nonprofit Better Block Foundation and scooter company Spin are among the partners sponsoring the urban design competition in Denver.

Two teams from Dallas are among six finalists competing for the first-ever parklet design competition in Denver, which focuses on scooters.

Scooter-sharing company Spin—in partnership with Dallas-based urbanism nonprofit Better Block Foundation, the city of Denver’s Department of Public Works, Denver Street Partnership, and Downtown Denver Partnership—made a call for competition entries for the Spin Spot multimodal competition in June.

The local teams are Hi, My Name Is… and Charge, Rest, Go!

READ NEXT Better Block in a Box is Bringing Placemaking to Cities’ Doorsteps

Better Block Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on educating, equipping, and empowering communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate environments to promote healthy, vibrant neighborhoods in urban areas.

“We love seeing what happens when you bring together great partners, beautiful design, and innovative techniques. Spin Spot does all three,” Better Block Managing Director Krista Nightingale told Dallas Innovates. “Working with Spin to reimagine spaces for people not cars has demonstrated the company’s desire to be great stewards of multi-modal transportation. Working with our six finalists on their creative and beautiful designs has inspired us to push ourselves harder when thinking about how to transform spaces. By using innovative techniques (such as combining digital fabrication with scooters), we’re able to apply great placemaking in a beautiful city.”

She said that, “by bringing all three together in Denver (a city very open to these ideas), we’re able to truly see what kind of impact we can have on the urban environment.” 

The partners hoped to attract designers, urbanists, architects, citizens, and anyone “who cares about safe and livable streets, to design and build an on-street prototype that blends the traditional parklet, bike and scooter parking, and bus shelter with placemaking,” according to a Spin blog post.

design Denver

Charge, Rest, Go! Is a finalist for the competition to create scooter-focused parklets for an urban setting. [Rendering: Courtesy Spin]

The Charge, Rest, Go! team is made up of Lindsey White, Alex Hobdy, John Watkins, Jessie Alexander, and Brent Scraggins.

The team describes their entry as: “Charge, Rest, Go! brings order to the chaos of streets and sidewalks, seamlessly easing the tension between different forms of travel.”

Gray Garmon and Rickey Crum comprise the Hi, my name is… team.

Hi, my name is… “brings together friends and strangers into better conversations. The most powerful part of being human is sharing our stories with each other, and we hope to use the power of design to change behaviors by reorienting how we sit, how we face each other, and how we talk so that we may be able to connect more deeply with one another,” according to the post.

Although many entries were submitted from across the country and world, these two Dallas teams make up one-third of the finalists.

Finalists will fabricate and install each design 

During September, the finalists will be creating and installing their prototype designs in Denver with the Better Block Foundation overseeing their projects.

The parklets will be on display for Park(ing) Day on September 20, and judges along with the public will award a first prize along with a People’s Prize.

READ NEXT FD19 Competition: The Better Block Invites You to Rethink the Average Bus Stop

In June, Better Block Foundation kicked off a new program called Better Block in a Box to bring peacemaking materials to cities’ doorsteps. The program premiered at a site in Richardson that is in the works to be an innovation district.

The program includes the use of elements contained in what Better Block calls Wikiblocks, an open-source library of easy-to-assemble wooden items such as benches that are made using a router machine.

Better Block Foundation hosted its FD19 competition in May aimed at finding a solution to poor air quality around Dallas area bus stops through better designs. Nine teams competed in the event, which was inspired by local activists.

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