Softwalks is About More Than Just Adding Flair To Sidewalks, It's an Evolution of Public Space

Softwalks is the project of Howard Chambers and Bland Hoke, two graduates of Parsons the New School for Design in New York. The initial goal was to find a way to repurpose the space used by sidewalk sheds in New York.

Sidewalk sheds are the scaffolding platforms that hang over sidewalks during construction. The project has grown substantially and is now a symbol for much needed infrastructure redevelopment in cities rethinking the use of public space.

This year the company hopes to be able to transform sidewalk sheds into mini parks for the locals. They have been successful in raising almost 14,000 dollars to begin working on a test location for the first public transformation. Chambers has long been looking at the way society's infrastructure has grown increasingly unfriendly towards it's human traffic, she has ideas to ameliorate that harmful trend.

Cities across America are discovering the benefits of creating plazas and pedestrian friendly areas in their towns, especially in the business areas. People like to have a place where they can sit down and relax, it gives the place a lively human feel. Projects like Softwalks are going to be a norm in the coming future if enough inspired individuals can get the support they need for to create a shift in the dialogue between people and infrastructure.