Repurposing Municipal and Institutional Spaces
As towns re-open during and post COVID-19, public and institutional spaces could be repurposed to provide services and support local businesses. This could involve using town-owned land (including school property, especially large and underutilized parking areas) or partnering with private organizations that may be willing to share their campuses/institutions. With a vast reduction in parking needs, municipal lots could serve as open temperature screening sites, for example, or provide spaces for public meetings, food trucks, or farmers markets/outdoor bazaars for local vendors, perhaps on a rotating basis.
- Fairness in determining which businesses are allowed to use the space, perhaps considering prioritizing local businesses that lack sufficient space to accommodate outdoor use on their property
- Ensuring any new use does not intrude upon an outdoor area that provides space for recreational enjoyment or stress relief
- The Town of Needham has created outdoor dining spaces by placing picnic tables in several public locations for open air consumption of take-out food (and alcohol) from local restaurants.
- The Town of Falmouth coordinated with the Library Trustees to place picnic tables on the green in front of the library in downtown to allow more space for people to eat takeout food from nearby restaurants.