Have an urban design idea? The City of Clovis wants you to take it to the streets.
The inaugural “taking it to the streets: a design festival of human proportion” will be held in Old Town Clovis on May 14 and 15.
“Think of it as a backward parade,” said organizer Dwight Kroll, planning and development services director for the City of Clovis. “The floats are fixed and people walk by.”
The city is working on its specific plan update and wants to focus on the downtown area, Kroll said.
“We want to get people to think about urban design in their community,” Kroll said. “People are visual. So much of how they relate to others and their experience in the world around them depends on their surrounding environment.
“When you think of downtown Clovis and even downtown Fresno, much of what people enjoy about it is it’s an exploration. You find things there you don’t expect to find and it’s a visual experience. That’s what I think keeps a lot of communities very interesting.”
While events like Big Hat Days and Clovis Rodeo draw thousands to Old Town Clovis, Kroll wanted to bring people downtown to experience the area in an artistic and interactive way, he said.
“I wanted to do something a little different for downtown, so we came up with a street design festival where we would take 20 parking spaces out of play for a weekend and anybody could request to take a parking space and do something creative with it.”
Organizers don’t want to limit anyone’s creativity, so the guidelines are somewhat broad.
“They can build anything they want in their parking space,” Kroll said, “from a seating area to an art object to something interactive.”
Designers can create humatats — temporary urban settings — that “express and celebrate your place in Clovis and the greater environs,” according to the rules posted on cityofclovis.com.
Participants are encouraged to build something they want to share with the community while being sensitive to all facets of society. Any message shall be non-biased nor offensive.
All humatats must fit within a designated parking space and comply with the American Disability Act so that everyone is able to view and use them.
Humatat setup may begin Friday, May 13 at 10 p.m. and be ready for public viewing and physical use by 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The temporary constructions must be removed between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 15.
So far about half of the parking spaces have been assigned. Registrants include an architectural firm, local merchants, Clovis and Fresno planning departments, artists and community groups. Some spots are still available; apply by downloading the application at www.ci.clovis.ca.us/Depts-Services/Planning-and-Development/Taking-it-to-the-Streets.