a design competition that’s putting a new spin on parking

Image:  SPUR  / Flickr / licensed under  CC by 2.0

Image: SPUR / Flickr / licensed under CC by 2.0

Image:  SDOT  / Flickr / licensed under  CC by 2.0

Image: SDOT / Flickr / licensed under CC by 2.0


UPDATE: Please click here to see the selected finalists! Many thanks to all the participants.


Help us MAKE parking for people, not cars

Have a passion for re-making our streets for people? Help us design the next generation of multimodal parklet, and you could see your ideas on the street in 2019.

In partnership with Better Block Foundation, Spin is launching an open call for designers, urbanists, architects, citizens and anyone who cares about safer and more livable streets, to design and build an on-street prototype that blends the traditional parklet, bike corral, and bus shelter with placemaking. Winning projects will be rolled out on National Parking Day, September 20, 2019. Details below!

Streets should be for people: that means more space dedicated to what people need — places to spend time in and together, to find fulfillment and opportunity — and less for moving and storing private vehicles. The parklet has become a powerful tool for reclaiming the street for people: parking-space-sized installations with benches, greenery, games, workspaces and a whole lot else, that slow traffic, make more space for people, and remind us all that the right of way belongs to everyone.

We’re excited to be a part of the parklet revolution, and want to take things to the next level: we’re working to create more spaces for people in our cities, and help cities manage parking for scooters, bikes, and other light electric and human-powered vehicles. Scooters and bikes are here to stay, providing fun, clean, and safe ways of getting around. But when these vehicles are not in use, we want to do our part to help make sure they’re safely and efficiently parked. We’re inviting budding parklet designers from across the country to join us in bringing a new generation of parklets to American streets, ones that combine multimodal parking and charging with placemaking and all the things that make parklets enjoyable and useful. Read on for more details.


In the design phase of the competition, we’re inviting anyone from across the country to submit design proposals for parklets that bring placemaking and multimodal mobility together in the right-of-way. Check details below for specific selection criteria.

In the build phase of the competition, five finalist teams will receive financial support from Spin, and mentorship and logistical assistance from the Better Block Foundation, to fabricate and install their designs on-site in Denver, Colorado, during September 2019.



Selection Criteria

All designs must:

  • Fit within an 8 foot width, and fit within 1-2 parking space’s length (a Denver space is around 18-22 feet).

  • Include built-in scooter parking and charging*.

  • Provide shelter and seating.

  • Allow for 25% digital fabrication (3D printed, laser cut, CNC routed, etc.)

  • Stay inside the basic budget of $1,500 (fundraising is allowed, up to $3,000.)

  • Be robust and well-designed, capable of lasting beyond a single day’s installation if needed.

  • Be ADA accessible.

Top designs will:

  • Be exceptional, bold concepts that encourage interactivity and communication and provide inspiration for pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders.

  • Be realistic, for ease of fabrication.

  • Consider positive impact on street safety and the scooter or bike rider’s experience.

  • Address environment through creative applications of greenery, shade, lighting.

  • Be scalable to other cities and geographies.

*Don’t worry about technical specifics, but you may want to consider:

  • how to provide flexible support for a variety of off-grid charging equipment, such as solar panels and batteries

  • how to provide protected routes for cabling

  • providing convenient access to charging ports on scooters and bikes.


5 selected finalists will be invited to build their design with the mentorship of Better Block Foundation. Finalists will receive $1,500 to put towards fabrication, travel budget up to $1,500, CNC mill training and cut time to build their Spin Spot. Entrants based outside of the United States are eligible, but if selected, will receive the same travel budget as domestic entrants.

During the Parking Day Event, finalists will have the chance to win the Jury’s $2,500 first prize, or a people’s choice award. The event will be documented through photography and video. Teams are allowed to fundraise up to $3,000. Please note that no budget is provided during the design phase of the competition.


The competition closed July 19th, finalists were announced July 26th.


Please contact krista@betterblock.org.

A recording of June 27’s webinar is available here.

This competition is a collaboration between The Better Block Foundation and Spin. The Better Block Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods.