Park-starved communities, such as parts of north Orange County, might look to New York City and other large urban areas where recession-stalled construction sites have taken on new life as temporary community parks.

The Los Angeles Times reported that chain-link-fence-surrounded vacant lots across the nation have been converted into temporary parks, urban gardens, cafes inside shipping containers and more.

Most of the lots had been sitting empty because the Great Recession stalled or killed plans to build condos and other projects on the site. Instead of leaving the lots boarded up and in danger of becoming hangouts for drug users and other potential problems, architects, developers and urban planners found ways to temporarily turn eyesores into assets.

Using empty urban space for a permanent park is underway in Santa Ana, where members of a neighborhood group, encouraged by the nonprofit Latino Health Access, are creating their own half-acre park, with help from local businesses, from a vacant site near East Fourth and French streets.


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