On Monday, November 16, 2020, the City of Austin will sign a proclamation declaring it “Street Patio Day” in recognition of the work of dwg. landscape architects and in celebration of the dynamic gathering areas for pedestrians on Congress Avenue.
In this time of great economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our local downtown businesses need greater support in order to survive, the street patios provide vital outdoor dining space that enables full compliance with city and state regulations while providing extra seating capacity and a safer option to connect with family, friends and colleagues.
Designed by landscape architects and urban planners, dwg., the Congress Avenue street patios transform typical side-angle city parking spots in Austin, Texas, into dynamic seating and gathering areas for pedestrians. Seven street patios have been completed since 2013 and four more are currently in design. These collectively challenge the existing infrastructure of the Main Street of Texas. Additionally, they reduce focus on cars and infuse user experience with green space in an urban environment. Each dwg.-designed street patio was the result of successful public-private partnerships and represents an innovative adaptation of limited urban space.
“Street patios, pocket parks, parklets, pop-up-patios — whatever quirky name they are called — are a national phenomenon of tactical urbanism. They are designed to challenge archaic engineering standards of “fat roads” that have resulted in anti-pedestrian environments.” — Daniel Woodroffe, president and founder of dwg.
The Royal Blue Grocery street patio at 609 Congress Avenue was completed in 2013 and served as the pilot project for the City’s new street patio ordinance. The first in Austin, it paved the way for future street patios. The project was the recipient of a 2013 Austin Chronicle “Best of” Award and the 2013 ULI Award of Distinction for Public Impact.
The street patio at 804 Congress Avenue features two separate patios, built across four parking spots, and has become a highly activated location for meetings and work breaks. The patios have served as an experimentation ground to study and measure soil volumetrics and tree health for the existing trees on Congress Avenue in coordination with the Downtown Austin Alliance. The street patios at 914 and 823 Congress Avenue have taken Austin’s street patio design to the next level and have amplified the attention garnered locally, challenging more business owners along Congress Avenue to follow in the footsteps of their forerunners.
Landscape Architect: dwg.
Image Credits: Jason Radcliff; Adam Barbe