Interim public plazas transform underutilized areas of roadway into public spaces for surrounding residents and businesses. Using low-cost materials, such as epoxied gravel, movable planters, and flexible seating, interim public plazas reconfigure and revitalize intersections that might otherwise be unsafe or underutilized. Like parklets, interim public plazas are the result of a successful partnership between the city and a neighborhood group or business association.
Partners maintain, oversee, and program the space. While many public plazas proceed from an interim phase to final reconstruction within 3–5 years, the intermediate application allows the community to build support for and benefit from the public space in the near term before major capital construction.
Art installations, performances, vendors, and markets can improve the quality and identification of a public plaza, while engaging local artists, communities, and business owners.
Public plazas have the potential to:
Interim public plazas are most commonly applied under the following circumstances:
Sabina Mollot, “Flatiron street to become pedestrian plaza,” Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership, accessed June 3, 2013.
Adapted from the Urban Street Design Guide, published by Island Press.