Type: Tactical Urbanism Demonstration Project
Size: Downtown West Palm Beach Waterfront
On January 24th, Street Plans implemented a day-long intervention along the waterfront in Downtown West Palm Beach as a part of the winning research team, Happier by Design, of the Van Alen Institute and West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency’s Shore to Core design and research competition.
Led by Happy City’s Charles Montgomery, and in collaboration with University of Virginia Center for Design and Health’s Dr. Jennifer Roe, PhD, the project measured participants’ neurological responses to experiencing the daylong pop-up space created by Street Plans with watches that detected changes in heart rate and skin conductance. The data will help reveal the possible wellness benefits of well-designed urban spaces, and inform how urban design affects the minds and bodies of those who move throughout it.
Street Plans created an intervention using bistro tables and chairs, plants, and wood blocks that functioned as both seating and a way to enclose the spaces. In addition, Miami makerspace Moonlighter created some elements to draw passersby into the waterfront, with historic images of Downtown West Palm Beach. With these elements, Street Plans created a variety of environments for the participants to test– seating in the sun and shade, right next to the waterfront, surrounded by bamboo, etc.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who experienced the space, and a special thanks to Moonlighter Makerspace for helping Street Plans construct some of the critical elements.