Parklet Pop-Up in Tysons, A Great Example for Pike District

Parklet Pop-Up in Tysons, A Great Example for Pike District

Tysons Corner, one of our neighboring urban areas, is on a similar path to redevelopment from an auto-centric “concrete jungle” to a walkable, green community. For now, many people are looking for short term uses of spaces throughout the region that could incorporate elements of “complete streets” and give current residents and office workers spaces to relax. Currently, places like urban parks, playing fields, and walking paths are missing in Tysons.  The Meridian Group, a major developer in the area, came up with a creative solution to this problem, at least in the short term.

A pop-up “parklet”, called the Greensboro Green, now sits in a 10,000-acre parking lot. This parklet is brightly colored, attractive space with many places to sit, relax, and gather in the middle of office parks.

To make Tysons a walkable, sustainable community, more parks and playing fields are necessary. Currently, “parkland accounts for less than 5 percent of Tysons 2,100 acres,” which is a problem. So it would seem that the parklet is the first step towards “bridg[ing] the gap between the Tysons of now and the Tysons of the future,” as Lori Aratani from the Washington Post mentions. The Pike District faces a similar reality, where 161 acres of the total 430 acres of the sector are surface parking lots. Thirty-seven percent of our land is sitting empty as surface parking lots, which could be used for so many other things.

Tysons provides some great amenities that unique to the area. There are four metro stations that recently open, creating a larger variety of transit opportunities for residents and visitors to frequent the area. In addition, Tysons has the largest mall in the area, bringing all types of people to Tysons. The plan is for Tysons to have many mixed-use spaces, bringing in many restaurants, services, and other types of stores to the area.

The parklet is a great example for the Pike District. Since many of the developments in the area are slated to happen in the next 20-30 years, we could have pop-up parks that give the community fun and safe places to play and gather in the short-term.

 

Rebecca Hertz

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Rebecca Hertz is the Assistant Executive Director of Friends of White Flint. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts in 2012. She completed her Master’s Degree from Clark University, as well, in Community Development and Planning in 2013. She is interested in how built environments impact the health and growth of communities. Prior to this role, she worked as a youth worker and mentor for several non-profit organizations in Maryland and Massachusetts. She grew up in Rockville, MD and has recently moved back to the region.

One comment

Christiana Drapkin

Have you ever thought of creating green-space above the transit bus parking lot? I am envisioning a “hanging garden” on top of that large bus lot (a block below the White Flint Metro parking garage).
Exhaust fumes from the running buses could be captured, like at the truck parking lot at the new I-95 truck parking lot in Delaware. And if it’s technically feasible, the roof on top of this parking area could become soccer fields and baseball fields, and a running track on the perimeter. — There are urban soccer fields on top of garages in Manhattan close to Pier 54 along the Hudson River Park.

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