Light & Verity

Made in the shade

Students create an urban “parklet” in New Haven.

Courtesy New Haven Urban Canopy Parklet

Courtesy New Haven Urban Canopy Parklet

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This summer, a tiny piece of asphalt in New Haven’s Fair Haven neighborhood was converted from a parking space to a park. The spot, outside a Latin restaurant on Grand Avenue, was designated as a “parklet” in a design competition sponsored by the transit advocacy group goNewHavengo. School of Architecture students Kassandra Leiva ’19MArch and Misha Semenov ’19MArch/MEM won the competition with their “urban canopy,” an arrangement of seating and tables made of wood from five different kinds of trees found in the city—all of them reclaimed street trees—and including information panels about the trees. Semenov says they wanted to help people “make a connection to these trees growing alongside us.” Leiva, who spent the summer in New Haven watching how the parklet was being used, says she got “overwhelmingly positive feedback. People were excited to have this public space to call their own.”

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