Our City: Oakland Public Design Fair
February 4-6 2016 · Frank Ogawa Plaza · 12 Projects
The Opportunity: #OurCityOakland
This first Fair was focused on the theme of play. From February 4-6 February 2016, Frank Ogawa Plaza came alive with new public design installations and performances that encouraged Oakland kids, families, residents, and visitors of all ages to play in new ways.
Twelve projects were selected for the Fair – see them below. You can also read more about the selection process here.
“Oakland has a rich history of civic engagement, arts and culture, and innovation. This creative initiative merges those three areas while inspiring a community driven planning process to determine how we use and maximize our public spaces.”
A survey from the ParkScore(R) index developed by The Trust for Public Land revealed that while Oakland has ample amounts of total parks and open space, it has just 1.8 playgrounds per 10,000 people – in the bottom 33% of cities surveyed. New opportunities to play in and around downtown – one of the densest residential and commercial areas of Oakland – can support the development of local youth from across Oakland and beyond in an area where many families live, work, and visit often.
Projects that encourage play simultaneously bring new life, energy, and forms of engagement to the city’s public spaces. Vibrant public spaces have been correlated with improvements in public health, sustainability, and community development, among other positive outcomes.
- Encourage residents and visitors of all ages to PLAY in new ways.
- Increase invitations for people to engage and socialize.
- Make the Plaza more welcoming to all populations.
The Site: Frank Ogawa Plaza
At the same time, the plaza is only activated for a small portion of the year. SPUR’s recent report on Downtown Oakland noted that the plaza, while underused, “has the potential to become downtown’s living room”. Activating the space with new public projects created by, with, and for Oakland residents can serve an important role in this transformation.
Our City empowers residents to imagine and build the future of their communities. We help governments, cultural institutions, and individuals make their cities better together, through imaginative public design festivals, workshops, and installations. Our City is a nonprofit organization based in Oakland, California and works with cities everywhere.
City of Oakland
Oakland is nationally recognized for its diversity, cultural and architectural history and stunning natural beauty. Incorporated in 1852, Oakland is the eighth most populated City in California with 400,000 residents and more than 55,000 businesses. The City is celebrated for its vibrant nightlife, dynamic arts culture and flourishing food scene recognized by USA Today, Lonely Planet, and Zagat.
The City is the proud home of three professional sports teams: the Oakland Raiders, the Oakland Athletics and the Golden State Warriors.
Learn more about the City’s accolades and distinctions.