The top people, places, things, and trends that make us happy to live here now
Parklets. Ped plazas. Hell strips. Call ’em what you want—but isn’t it marvelous what pavement can become when a community pulls together? In 2010, San Francisco kicked off what’s becoming a West-wide trend when, with help from the Pavement to Parks program, a strip of sidewalk in front of the Mojo Bicycle Café was transformed into a leafy oasis on Divisadero Street, among many other similar locations around the city. In Portland, a grassroots blog called Re-thinking the Right-of-Way gussied up commercial areas such as Mississippi Avenue and Alberta Street. Another favorite project is the Sunset Substation Park in Seattle: A pocket park with purpose, it turned a defunct electrical station into a green space with a solar-powered canopy.