Mobile urban parks that can be moved from neighourhood to neighbourhood as needed are coming to Hamilton.

Councillors Monday approved a mobile urban park initiative, that would mean sitting space, lush greenery and planters, strategically placed around the city in mobile parks made from shipping containers.

'It’s unique and progressive.And the concrete jungles of the city need it the most.' - Coun. Sam Merulla, Ward 4. 

“It’s exactly what we need in this city and Ottawa St. is the perfect place to try this out,” says Brian McHattie, councillor for Ward 1. “I’m looking forward to see how the pilot project turns out and I’m sure there are other places in the city that this will be applicable.”

The public works committee endorsed the idea that was proposed by Ward 4 councillor, Sam Merulla, in September 2013. The Ottawa St. BIA approached Merulla with the idea and it will be considered as a pilot location.

According to city staff working on the project, the mobile park concept will not replace the work of land acquisition to build green spaces and recreation areas in the city.

A park mobile being installed on street in Yerba Buena, Calif.

A park mobile being installed on street in Yerba Buena, Calif. (Photo courtesy CMG Landscape Architecture)

“This project is intended to accommodate places dealing with over capacity especially during summer events and festivals,” says Steve Barnhart, manager of landscape architectural services for the city of Hamilton.

Ottawa St. holds many events during the year, including, Sew Hungry, Sew This is Christmas’and all-year-round Saturday farmer’s markets.

Now that council has endorsed the project, the initiative needs funds. Barnhart says public works has not made an official budget request for funding from the city. Other funding options would involve sponsorship by individual businesses and BIAs.

Mobile parks are now considered part of the pop-up trend and cities across Canada such as Montreal and in the United States have introduced various designs of pop-up parks and garden.

This project provides an opportunity for the city of Hamilton to be leader in creativity, said Merulla, a member of the public works committee.

“I believe this is not only innovative, it’s unique and progressive,” Merulla said. “And the concrete jungles of the city need it the most.”