This public art project is the start of a large-scale urban earthwork that involves replacing sidewalks with native plant life to establish a connective greenbelt between the Mission District’s two largest parks: Franklin Square Park and Dolores Park. The greenbelt will be a narrow landscaped strip running east west through neighborhoods now lacking public green spaces. On the whole, the self-supporting native plants will thrive, as they have evolved for thousands of years to suit San Francisco’s semi-arid climate. Also, the permeable soil will absorb rainwater otherwise headed for the sewage treatment plant, which, during heavy rains, overflows into the Bay. Visually, the greenbelt will be reminiscent of the now landfill-covered Mission Creek with a stream of planted vegetation separating pedestrians from cars.
The project intersects with recent public debate in Copenhagen about air pollution in the city. In collaboration with Senior Scientist Jørgen Brandt from The National Environmental Research Institute in Denmark a first prototype is developed for making an indicator that can be placed in the city and display local levels of pollution as well as pollution forecasts on individual streets. The project holds an open source script for displaying data from the Internet in a variety of forms.