After staying fenced off for five years, the Gaslamp Square in downtown San Diego is undergoing a transformation, and the public got a chance to reimagine what the end result will be.
San Diegans brought their own seats and a good idea or two to the Chairs in Squares event Friday at 5th Avenue and L Street.
The area acts as the gateway to the Gaslamp District, sitting by the trolley line across from the convention center, yet it’s been closed off for years due to a broken fountain.
Downtown groups have worked to restore the area, and during its reopening Friday, they used “tactical urbanism” to make it a part of downtown life.
Tactical urbanism, a trend which has popped up in cities around the globe, tries to engage a community through temporary events. That way, community members have a say in changes to their spots.
At the Chairs in Squares event, live music, chalk artists and creative seating aimed to inspire guests to weigh in on what they would like to see happen at the Gaslamp Square.
Residents suggested having cultural events like public art exhibits and farmers markets, and permanent seating for downtown employees and visitors and live music and movie nights.
The event grew out of the Downtown San Diego Partnership's 20-year plan called "Imagine Downtown," which includes more parks and open spaces at the city's core.