Softwalks is an initiative dedicated to improving the pedestrian experience in New York City. According to its inventors, the sidewalks of New York are occupied by scaffolding, as over 6,000 sheds cover the city’s streets at any given point in time. Good for rainy days, but less in favor of walking on other days. Softwalks anticipates to this situation and makes the best of it.
Designers Bland Hoke and Howard Chambers created a do-it-yourself kit to let people turn local scaffolding into their own temporary hangout spaces. Have a seat, hang around a counter table or enjoy the planters that’ve been attached to metal beams. All Softwalk elements are easily attached and removed when you want to continue your walk. Now that’s what we call pop-up! However, that’s what it will be like when the Softwalks Kickstarter project has raised enough funds. A long way to go, but the first $2,000 has already been backed.
The idea to (re-)invent spaces for pedestrians is not new. The designers themselves got inspired by another New York pedestrian project — the make-over of the traffic heavy Times Square into a place to sit back, relax and enjoy the traffic-calmed city. And here we showed how parking places can be turned into dance floors and power-nap spot, or how the city became a planter.
In the past we featured this nice prank to divide the New York sidewalks into a specific lane for tourists and a specific lane for New Yorkers. We’re wondering on which side of the sidewalk the Softwalk kits will pop up more!