Temple Ambler students, faculty create pop-up park
A brand-new park is about to take shape in the heart of Doylestown, thanks to a collaboration between faculty and students in Temple’s Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture and community volunteers. But it will only be there for two days.
It’s all part of Park(ing) Day, an annual worldwide event that brings together artists, designers and citizens to transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. The day is designed to call attention to the need for more urban open space, spark discussions about how public space is created and allocated, and improve the quality of the places in which we live and work.
Park(ing) for People, a temporary 120-foot by 12-foot pop-up park, will take up a few parking spots in front of the County Theater, 20 E. State St., at the main intersection in Doylestown this Friday and Saturday.
Temple’s role in the project—designing the park for the space available and helping to determine what plants and trees would be used—is being spearheaded by Associate Professor Baldev Lamba, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture.
“Imagine a greener, more people-friendly space in place of parking spots,” said Lamba. “This pop-up park is a true partnership between our students and faculty and volunteer architects, horticulturists, landscape architects, artists and organizations in the region.”
According to Lamba, Park(ing) for People will highlight “an urban meadow theme.”
“It will include plants, perennial grasses and trees that can handle an urban environment in addition to seating areas for people passing by,” he said. “All of the material will be reused within the community. Our park and streetscape is 100 percent sustainable.”
Lamba is no stranger to the concept of pop-up gardens. He coordinated the award-winning design of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s first pop-up garden in 2011. Located at 20th and Market streets, the garden took its inspiration from Temple’s Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit, Écolibrium—French Traditions/Modern Interpretations, from the same year, which also won accolades. While that park was larger—32,000 square feet—the message and premise is the same as the Doylestown pop-up park, Lamba said.
“It’s about changing mindsets. It’s showing people that urban centers can have areas that are green, innovative and inviting,” he said.