|Dave Vetrano at a portable dumpster-turned park
in San Francisco’s South of Market district.
(courtesy of Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
One of the most innovative cities in American, San Francisco, has had its streets which are typically filled with concrete and metal, invaded with patches of greenery throughout the summer. While many people have grown accustomed to the hardscapes found throughout many cities, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District has a different thought about how the city should look.
The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District commissioned six of these “parkmobiles” as they are currently called; each costing about $6,000 to make. A parkmobile is a portable dumpster-turned park that features narrow benches, and greenery within an approximately 16 foot by 6 foot dumpster. Their job? To bring a little bit of Mother Nature to a city filled with concrete and metal, and to foster community among the people.
“We want the place to be livable,” said Cathy Maupin, the group’s executive director, “You have to be creative when you’re built out.” San Francisco has over 17,505 people per square mile, and the city is trying to come up with ways to fix up the city, make it more livable, and make it people friendly—with the help of dumpsters.
[The parkmobiles,] “managed to pack such joy into such a small, little parcel,” said Jeffries, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., “I thought it was quirky and interesting and worth a photograph.”
While many people’s attitudes transform from curious to pleasantly surprised the longer they are exposed to the brightly colored, greenery-filled transformed dumpsters, some are not very happy with the changes. The parkmobiles take up coveted parking spaces right in the middle of all of the action throughout the city, so many citizens are not happy with their locations, regardless of whether or not they are benefiting the city.