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Transform a Public Space Project: Sneak Preview of the Submissions


The plans for the Palou Community Project, submitted by Chris Waddling.

This content is brought to you by GOOD, with the support of the BMW Guggenheim Lab


This summer, GOOD and the BMW Guggenheim Lab teamed up to announce the project Transform a Public Place, a call for ideas on how to make a public space in your city more comfortable. Ideas will be reviewed by Maria Nicanor, curator of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile laboratory bringing together new ideas for improving urban life. The ideas selected by Nicanor will be featured in a special post on GOOD and also on the BMW Guggenheim Lab websites and other social media.

The project closed on Tuesday, July 17 and we've received many submissions with fascinating, groundbreaking and quirky ideas from all over the world. While we're still going through them to highlight our favorites, we wanted to share a sneak peek at some of the innovative ideas we've received so far. Be sure to check back with us as we share more ideas and Nicanor's top picks.


Idea: Priority Seating for Conversation
Submitted by: Yen Trinh
On public transport, typical signs designate “priority seating for the disabled” to help create a culture of courtesy. Similarly, for this project, signs designating “priority seating for people who want conversation” seeks to help create a culture of friendliness. Conversations in public spaces present endless possibilities to build connections, create community, and just make someone’s day a bit more interesting.

The signs can be expanded globally, with signage and conversations encouraged where ever the community wants.


Idea: Wi-Fi Landscape in London
Submitted by: Jing-Hua Liu
This was shot in a shopping mall in the south bank of London. I plan to transform the identifier codes of Wi-Fi into colours. I want to make Wi-Fi networks more visible so they become a special landscape to offer people a new experience to enjoy, making a Wi-Fi connection like seeing an artwork.




Idea: Public Bath House for the Homeless
Submitted by: Trech Ras
Traditional water pumps dominate the city of Berlin, however they haven’t served some major purpose as the decades passed. Another group of individuals who are in need of clean accessible water is the homeless population in the city. Oftentimes, they encounter negative reactions from the rest of the populace because of their foul smell.



Idea: Palou Community Project
Submitted by: Chris Waddling
The public space located over Caltrain’s Oakdale Tunnel in San Francisco, CA is an unmaintained dumping ground in the heart of our community.

Our idea includes the installation of a storage shed and education center made from a shipping container clad in reclaimed wood; dozens of raised planters to be used by local residents to learn about gardening while producing fresh food for their families; trellised water catchment and solar powered pump system to store and distribute water to planting beds; a large open air amphitheater overlooking the railway tracks with a screen for public movie nights; art by local artists on adjacent buildings; a picnic and play area; and a dog run.
The pleasant lifestyle that this space will provide will lead to a sense of greater prosperity within the community simply in having such a wonderful space, and will provide a sense of satisfaction, ownership and stewardship over the land.

City Forward was produced with the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life. From June 15 through July 29, it will be open in Berlin, Germany. Sign up to receive the latest news and get involved. To get the latest news and updates on Twitter, follow @BMWGuggLab and join the conversation via #BGLab.

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