Dog Park Powers Public Art

If you want to lure residents downtown, you’ve got to have basic amenities, like access to groceries and green spaces. Those green spaces are important, because as, one luxury apartment developer in Roanoke discovered, if folks move downtown, they’ll bring their pets with them. With at least one dog in every new condo of this particular building, the few downtown green spaces were suddenly at a premium.

Doggie clean up stands and trash cans quickly emerged. Read about living downtown with dogs in this Roanoke Times article from a couple of years ago. While picking up doggie doo in decomposable city-provided Mutt Mitts and throwing it away is one solution, an urban dog park in Cambridge is promoting a more sustainable approach. 

Park Spark, a digester that turns the debris into methane gas, was unveiled this week. The digester fuels a lamppost, shown here at Soon they hope to try the same project with other ammentities such as a popcorn stand. It’s an art project, it’s an environmental statement, and it will make for a much cleaner dogpark.

It’s yet another example of how, with a little creativity–and maybe even a sense of play–we can rethink our approaches to widely shared challenges.