Covington is turning parking spaces into parks

Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-30 15:31:28-05

COVINGTON, Ky. — Northern Kentucky’s largest urban center is reimagining the "park" in its parking spaces.

As part of Renaissance Covington’s Curb’d program — a design initiative meant to enhance the city’s urban experience through temporarily repurposing select parking spaces — project leaders selected five designs for miniature, parking space-sized “parklets” throughout the city.

Eleven Covington businesses and designers submitted more than 40 proposals for the parklets. The five winners were selected late last week.

The parklets will begin popping up around the city in May and will be on display for use and enjoyment through October.

The five winners were:

"Hopscotch Garden"

Hopscotch Garden, A+D

A play on the hoppiness of some of Covington-based Braxton Brewing Company's best ales, the "Hopscotch Garden" will feature a series of raised platforms from which kids and adults alike can test their own hops.

The parklet will be right outside Braxton's location on Seventh St. near Madison Ave. The finished wooden, triangular design also mirrors Braxton's branding.

"The Boxing Ring"

The Boxing Ring, BHPOGS

"The Boxing Ring" combines Cutman Barbershop's boxing motifs with what the designers at BHPOGS described as "passive spaces for seating and dining, with consideration given to the close proximity between our parklet and a nearby diner (Old Town Cafe)."

The parklet will feature greenery as well as a few seats for folks to sit and enjoy a coffee, a meal, or just people-watch along one of downtown Covington's busiest corridors.


Ride, by Hub + Weber Architects

As a cyclist, this one strikes the most heartstrings for me. Calling it a "stationary trip," the designers at Hub + Weber Archictects will install bicycles that, when pedaled, generate power to a projector display screen. "Images could include a trip as far away as the German Alps or as close as a bike tour through Covington.

“Or one of our favorite movies, such as ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,’ ‘Edward Scissorhands,’ ‘The Radiant Child,’ ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ ‘The Triumph of Nerds: the Rise of Accidental Empires,’ ‘Breaking Away.’ Or Mexican wrestling. Or all of those. You’re going to be in such great shape," Hub + Weber Archictect said in its proposal.


Mountain/Tunnel/Xylophone, by John Noble

The only one of the parklets set to arrive in Covington's historic Mainstrasse Village, "Mountain/Tunnel/Xylophone" is definitely the most kid-oriented of the winners — which makes sense, given that it will go up right outside Stoney's Village Toy Shoppe along Mainstrasse's Sixth St. promenade.

The playful design is meant to mirror the active imagination encouraged by the toys available in the nearby toy store.


Wish-Igloo, by Seth Trance and Harry Ross

Conceptually modeled after the Japanese tradition of the Ema — small wooden plaques hung outside a temple with the hopes and aspirations of Shinto practitioners inscribed upon them — Trance and Ross designed "Wish-Igloo" hoping it would become a space for both brief exchanges between passersby in the community as well as extended connections, from the very first wish plaque hung to the last.

Curb'd shared the 11 design finalists on Facebook last Friday. Browse through them below or here