From August 25-27, Street Plans and uCity Square were joined by more than 20 volunteers to install an asphalt art traffic-calming project along Philadelphia’s 37th Street, between Warren Street and Lancaster Avenue. Identified in a 2018 placemaking study conducted by Street Plans for uCity Square, the project was co-designed in collaboration with Wexford Science + Technology, the University City Science Center, and HopePHL resident artists.
At uCity Square, four curb extensions now bookend 37th Street, shortening the pedestrian crossing distances and encouraging drivers to take turns more slowly. While not permanent, the asphalt art project provides interim beautification and safety benefits, as well as an opportunity to engage more artists and community members in future iterations.
The project was installed over the course of three and a half days, with Street Plans leading the technical elements of the installation (measuring, marking, and tracing). Volunteers of all ages, including community members who mostly lived nearby, joined the project team to paint the base coats and the detailed flower work. Professional landscapers installed the planters with a combination of native, drought-resistant plants. The asphalt artwork features local flora, including flowers that were growing naturally on-site prior to development. In the center of the street features a watch face with floral detail to indicate that although the site has changed throughout the years, the “roots” of the community remain strong.