We're excited to announce that Popuphood is once again partnering with the City of Oakland to make some magic happen! The Oakland Public Works Agency
is creating a temporary pop-up plaza for pedestrians at Latham Square, and has recruited Popuphood to handle retail curation and marketing promotions. Popuphood has this special opportunity to prototype small retail vendors a as tool to foster economic vitality in downtown Oakland.
Sean Bullard DDS,
The plaza is open and already it is being enjoyed by the lunchtime crowd and those that want to sit and people watch. It's situated at one of the most prominent and architecturally important intersections in Oakland – Telegraph and Broadway. The city hired Rebar Group, a fantastic art and design studio, to transform the area with planters, native landscaping, a painted street surface, trees, seating, and a large “Latham” sign constructed re-claimed street signs from throughout Oakland. And the Lake Merritt-Uptown District Association will be bringing lots of fun parties, entertainment, and activities to the square.
With all of the new hustle and bustle in Oakland's emerging Uptown entertainment district and Downtown Oakland, the timing is perfect to give some love to the square and transform the space into an exciting walkway for people to stroll. The plaza will be there for 6 months to 1 year as part of a pilot program to help the City of Oakland explore new ways to use and activate public space, and its elements will be mobile to allow it to evolve over time.
Beginning in September, Popuphood will be bringing additional energy and excitement to the plaza through retail curation, kicking things off with a slew of mobile retail truck vendors.
We'll also be bringing street and sidewalk vending to the area in a shopping experience we're calling the "Popuphood Enterprise Zone." Vendors will showcase their wares there through the holidays, and may later join our incubation program, "graduating" with a pop-up or a permanent Oakland brick-and-mortar retail space.
Popuphood will also be lending its marketing and branding skills to situate Latham Square as a new and exciting destination, and bringing more foot traffic to the area. We'll be constantly updating local residents, business owners, and tourists about goings on in the square through postcards and posters, blogging, press releases, and social media. You can also look out for our awesomely designed postcards and posters around town, advertising lots of fun activities in the square.
We can't wait to get started! We anticipate the Latham Square project will result in increased foot traffic and walkability at Telegraph and Broadway, a boost to the local creative economy for participating merchants, the saving of existing trees, and the improvement of traffic and transit operations in the area. The project will also bring Oakland and Popuphood into exciting Urban Prototyping conversations that are currently happening internationally (check out our participation in the Venice Biennale for an example).
After helping the city to execute two successful neighborhood revitalization projects in Downtown Oakland
and the Frank Ogawa Plaza, we're looking forward to partnering with them once again. Stay tuned to this blog for more exciting updates about Latham Square.